Tilled Earth

Manju Shree Thapa got international fame from the book “Forget Kathmandu” and “The Tutor of History”. With this fame she again gave continuity in her literary writing. Her latest book “Tilled Earth” contains twenty stories. Among them some are of just half page and some contains up to twelve pages. Service holder, Novelist, NGO worker, men who are eligible to go to foreign country, youth returned from foreign countries are some of the character whom writer choose in her story. She focused on the subject matter like domination of men towards women in Nepali society, difference between life in remote and urban areas, problem faced by Diaspora women, problem created in human relation and the pessimistic nature of job holder.

Thapa’s story shows how the political situation affects general people’s life does. She pick character from day to day life and give fictious image to them. The story ‘Solitaire’ explains how man’s interest lost in playing computer game when he is going to be retired. This man has helped many people to reach their success in way of meeting minister in his earlier days.Her short stories are more interesting than long stories. ‘Friends’ is more focused on explaining the tourist area Thamel. Rishikesh who returned from America to Nepal to find out his self identity met computer engineer Kamal who becomes pessimistic due to his unemployed life. Writer end up the story by leaving their friendship as it is. This shows writer have post modernist nature.
Thapa’s short stories can be compared with the stories of English writer Sandra Cisneros. Mainly, the story ‘I don’t like Shanta Khanal’ gave the feeling about the story ‘A house On Mango Street’ by Cisneros. Both the story focuses on Childish nature and curiosity. ‘Love Marriage’ shows how women are taken as a market product in Nepali society. Similarly “Tilled Earth” describes the problem faced by Nepali women Student in American modern society. She lives a diversified life between American modern society and Nepali conservative society. She was in doubt when her boyfriends want to come to America. The last sentence says “the warm vapour of tilled earth, her loves breath”.

Some stories are boring also. Like ‘In this world as hard as Beatle Nut’. The secretary is a lyricist whose internal conflict interpret the psychological aspect from pop singer to unemployed youth. But, the story is not successful in touching the sensational matter. “The Buddha in the Earth Touching Posture’ just seems to be like a explanation. The story ‘Three Hundred Rupees’ has described the bitter experience of village people entering to city life. This story explains the same old concept about the difference between the lifestyle of village and city. But, the story is successful in showing the internal conflict between two brothers in the same family. Manju Shree Thapa is greatly influence by writer Jhumpa Lahiri. Lahiri in her book ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ writes about loosing her identity.

Manju Shree Thapa is very good in choosing the character in the story but she is not capable to maintain the characters prestige up to the last paragraph. ‘The European feeling’, describe the relationship between the American man and Nepali Feminist women in Europe. After having one physical relation in Paris, anxiety creates in both of them. Meanwhile, the story like ‘Sounds that the tongues learns to make’ and ‘The girl of No Age’ are just boring.
The starting part of the entire story is very strong but the concluding part is always weak. Now, Nepali writer are able to bring their English writing up to the international market. With two stories book and one Nobel, Samrat Upadhya is successful in making his identity in Western countries. Likewise, Manju Shree Thapa also placed her name safely in successful writer’s category. She finished the book ‘Tilled Earth’ in ten years of time in America and Kathmandu. Besides this book, she had already published book named, “Forget Kathmandu”, “Tutor of History’ and ‘Mustang Vote in Fragments’. Among these book ‘Tutor of history’ is the most popular one.

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