Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Role of women in Monu's book, his life


Almost a year ago, Monu Tamang had visited me in my office in Thimphu. That particular day, surprisingly enough, he brought a girl along with him.

“Sir, she is my girlfriend,” he introduced the girl to me, feeling uncomfortable.

It left me astounded. For, never before he had talked about girls in front of me. A shy boy, as far as I knew, this young writer was not a kind of boy who dares to take his girlfriend around and introduce to everyone. 

When he told me her name, I almost jumped out of my chair in shock. In fact, this young physiotherapy student had already shared the first draft of his book, ‘Chronicle of a Love Foretold’, with me. This girl completely resembles Namsa Lhazin of the book.

His girlfriend was fair, slim, and she got “bright smile, her sweet voice…beautiful eyes, and her long silky hair…” (Pg. 106, ‘Chronicle of a Love Foretold’). By the looks of her, a well-to-do family had brought her up. Thus, Monu had all the reasons to fall for her.

Then I asked the girl jokingly, “Oh, you’re the heroine of Monu’s new book?”

She blushed. Monu blushed.

Moreover, this young writer admitted and openly stated on BBS TV that “women” had inspired him to write this book. Initially, he had started writing the book particularly for his girlfriend, and that is the depth of his love for her.

After spending quite a lot of time with the author, I came to know many characters, incidences and events of the book are arguably real and had happened to the author. Kinga Lhendup, the protagonist of the book, largely resembles Monu himself - “cool”, “social worker”, “determined”, and “Good boy” (Pg. 69, 90, 94 and 104).

There are several other important plots in the book, which the writer must have created to spice up his story. I must say, ‘Chronicle of a Love Foretold’ is a fiction novel inspired by the author’s own story and the real people. It is a beautiful novel about love and loss and finding way back into love. The narration is graceful, the expression so genuine and every word is brutally honest.

However, the sad reality is that Monu broke up from his girlfriend soon after they made their visit to me, and it means they had split before the author could complete his project. After that, the author made a few changes to his first draft and added some elements of heartbreak, loneliness, depression and suicidal attempts (Prologue, pg. 7-9).

I still wonder how the book would turn out if the couple were still together. It might have a different storyline, or Monu would not publish it at all. There came a time when the author decided putting the book online as he did not have money to print it.

Indeed, it was the breakup and the wound in his heart that had always encouraged him to push on realizing his dream. In a blog post, the author wrote,  
Novel writing is such a tedious and long process that even your girlfriend leaves you before it is published. It is funny, yet true. But I must be strong enough to shoulder it on my own as it is almost done and I have blessings and good wishes of many. It was my promise and I will fulfill it by hook or crook.
Finally, it's not by hook or by crook, but by the love and blessing from another woman of his life - his own mother - that provided him courage and a sense of direction to accomplishment. 
His mother launched the book along with former Sherig Lyonpo Thakur S. Powdyel. The moment was simply beautiful. Monu’s mother looks exactly like the mother of Kinga: “high cheekbones…tanned and smiling cheerfully” (Pg.14). Also, the chapter 20 is entirely dedicated to his “Mother’s dream”.

The influence of the two women - girlfriend and mother - is dominantly apparent throughout the book. They were like two important currents of Kinga’s (Monu) life running side by side like soul and life respectively. 

Without soul, the book wouldn’t be born. Without life, the book wouldn’t be nurtured, published. One woman gifted him the story; another woman nurtured it. One woman broke his heart; another healed it.       
Pic: The writer with his mother
Additional note: Nawang Phuntsho, who edited the book, also played equally an important role by helping the author print and market the book. The book became an instant hit.   

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations to the Mr. Monu, who authored it. A share of congratulations to Ngawang sir for making it possible for him to author it in reality. At least another piece of congratulations for you in reading his work and putting in your perspectives. By the way, I am yet to flip the pages of it.

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  2. It is so inspiring to read about Mr. Monu's strong determination to launch his book. We must learn from him on this. I wish him well and hope his books will arrive the stores in Malaysia.

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  3. Going through this review, I felt like going through the book itself. You have put it very beautifully. It's a nice read. I am still waiting to read the ebook version as the author had promised to share with me. It's a great reflection and analysis. A well-thought work. Keep it up, Rikku...

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  4. Your first post of 2016 is Fantastic.

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  5. Interesting review.
    I am still waiting for the book to arrive here.
    Hopefully, by the end of Feb, I will own my very first novel written by Bhutanese author :)

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  6. wahh...this review made me like "Don't end, don't end it."

    Beautiful one sir! Only if i can write like you, i would have reviewed Monu's book.

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