Lil Bahadur Chettri, an elegant novelist, makes you plunge into a real world in no time while you enter “Basain”. Originally from Gauhati, Aasam, Mr Chettri speaks through words, writes through social impressions and paints through the uprising hindrances of discrimination, castes and racism.
His novel “Basain” flows with veins and clings to your nerves. Every character in the novel represents a significant piece of society. You don’t want to overlook any words and oversee any incidents in “Basain”. Central character Dhane is a peasant farmer struggling with poverty, lives with Maina (wife), Jhuma Wati (sister) and a three year toddler (son).
Dhane’s life entangles in the vicious circle of poverty as he borrows money from local money lenders, dreaming a better future. But time and situation don’t favor him. One after another misfortunes surround him. Buffalo’s calf dies and Dhane’s buffalo destroys neighbor’s field. Turning into a mad beast, he beats the buffalo to death.
In the mean time another blow comes on Dhane’s way. Jhuma Wati is lured by Rikute and gets pregnant which adds another slap in Dhane’s fate. Dhane loses his home and land as he couldn’t pay off his debt.
And all those circumstances become the cause of migration of Dhane’s family. Even though Mote Karki saves Jhuma Wati’s life from her suicidal attempt and marries her, a vigor pain of migration and separation can be felt
as the novel ends.
“Basain” has been established as a fable of Nepali literature and its message will be remained mortal. Dhane is the representation of all the Nepalese who migrate to other places or countries even though they don’t
Understanding the beauty and the beast of “Basain”, Michael J. Hutt has translated this very novel into English. In English language it is translated as “Mountains Painted with Turmeric”. And of course, there is no doubt that Mr. Hutt has worked hard and it turned out to be a precious pearl.