Tuesday, November 02, 2010

A special bookshop gathering in Thamel

It was a special gathering of slightly over two dozen people that I attended at around 6 PM today at Pilgrims Book House in Thamel. I went there with two friends and a colleague. The host of the event was Stella Dupuis, a passionate researcher and an insightful writer from Switzerland. The gathering was held for a formal release of her latest book, "In the Belly of the Fish" -- a spiritual novel that took her roughly six years to complete.

Just two days before arriving in Kathmandu, she had made an online hotel reservation for her weeklong tour through our portal, http://www.kathmanduhotel-link.com/. When we finally settled on an alternative arrangement (owing to unavailability of the accommodation she initially wanted to book), she mentioned that she would be giving a short lecture today at the aforesaid venue and invited us to the event. She didn't mention the topic or the purpose, though. Anyway, I had decided right then that I would be there.

She gave her audience a brief insight into her new novel just before releasing it, along with some interesting encounters she had during her extensive research in India. She mentioned that the lead character, Maya, is on the experiences of a Yogini and her daughter. The story, narrated by Matsyendranatha (Macchindranath in Nepali) -- the lord of the Fish, is supposed to take the reader on a journey back and forth in time.

According to Stella, the message she wants to deliver is that if we believe in ourselves and try hard enough, we can get past our problems and achieve success, just like Machhindranath did.

Soon after releasing the book, her upcoming book was announced, which is said to be almost complete. When asked why she had chosen Nepal for the release of the novel instead of India where most of her research was based, she said that the idea was suggested by her guru (her chief guest today). The guru explained that there many myths about Macchindranath in Nepal and Nepalis (especially in the valley of Kathmandu) worship his different forms.

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