Prakash Gautam, McKinney , TX
Well, I could not stop myself from writing a brief review of the book – A Drop of Texas (Ali Ali Texas) - and its release program organized by the International Nepali Literary Society (INLS), Texas chapter, in November 2009, in Dallas . A Drop of Texas is a collection of 50 short Nepali poems, written by a well-known Nepali poet, Durga Lal Shrestha, translated in English by Bhim Karki, and edited by poet Dr. David Hargreaves. Indeed, this collection is unique and special in the sense that all the poems are in both languages – Nepali and English - under the same cover. This unique feature of the collection has definitely added some extra value by increasing its scope and target readers – from both the East and the West. All of the short poems in this book were written by poet Shrestha during his visit to Texas in 2009. A few of the literary pieces, covered in this book, are of immense value for all of us – Texans, as they remind and represent our lives in our lovely Texas. The poet has presented his feelings of his visit to Texas in the poems “American Art,” “Subway Sandwich,” “Beauty of Texas,” “Wal-Mart,” “Congratulations Obama” and many more, in simple and short expressions. Obviously, the poet’s feelings and expressions in different aspects of his day to day life during his stay in Texas have made this collection very interesting, unique and special.
I have no words of appreciation for the INSL Dallas Chapter team that published this valuable collection and organized its release program in a very thoughtful manner. The program was started with a very melodious Nepali sentimental song “Ful ko Akhama Fulai Sansara,” in the background, which was written by poet Shrestha, as well. The INLS Texas Chapter team discussed what motivated the team to publish the collection, and they explained their experiences in different stages of translation and publication. I, personally, was very touched by the remarks presented by various speakers - to name a few, Prominent Poet Biplov Pratik, Basu Sharma, Basu Bhandari, Prem Adhikari, and of course Bhim Karki. During his speech of the publisher’s remarks, Bhim Karki briefly explained how he was able to complete translating from Nepali to English, within a few months, at the time when he was extremely busy in travelling on his job related business trips. He did not forget to give some credit of this noble work to his wife Rohini Karki for supporting him in every aspect. Mr. Karki’s remarks compelled me to remember my past, a similar situation a few years ago, when I was involved in a publication. I personally know Bhim jee, and I was pretty much aware of his travel schedule during the time he had volunteered to do this project. Despite all of this, he was able to complete his assumed responsibility on time. Hats off to all the team members of INLS Dallas Chapter!!
I have been in North America for an extensive period, and I have attended a number of such community programs, organized by numerous organizations in different parts of North America . This was one of the very few programs that touched my heart and won my feelings. I think INLS Texas Chapter has reached a milestone by completing this task, and this chapter should be viewed as a model chapter across the country. In my opinion, this activity has not only added in preserving the Nepali literature in this wonderful country, but it has also served as a bridge to tie the literary works between the East and the West. Because of my demanding job schedule and other responsibilities, I only attend a few programs, and this was one of the best and most enjoyable programs – a program of complete different flavor and of immense value - that I attended in Dallas.
To sum it up, the book releasing program was excellently managed, with no flaws, other than the limited number of participants in the program. It would have been more meaningful and would have added more value to the program if the organizers had made an extra effort to communicate the program schedule to all the community members. Lastly, kudos to all, who were directly and indirectly involved in this noble work!!!