Analyzing SAYA, A Nepali Love Story
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SAYA is the second series of SUMMER LOVE by Subin Bhattrai. The book SAYA is about true and successful love story between Atit and Saya. Atit was born in a middle class family of Eastern Nepal while Saya was born in a high class family of Kathmandu city. The red blood flowing through their veins does not see differences between one another; however, the deep rooted caste system sees lots of differences. Atit is Brahman and Saya is Newar. The writer has composed the story including different ups and downs resulted by the caste system.
The book has done good justice to both the lead characters, Atit and Saya, and has tried to teach a lesson to the Nepali society. Inter-caste marriage is legal in Nepal, but not in certain societies. Saya and Atit had to face so many challenges to transform that entrenched misconception, but slowly they succeeded on it. Saya’s parents have lots of fear with inter-caste marriage because of deep-rooted tradition and culture. Her parents think that inter-caste marriages destroy culture, religion and status. With those primitive thoughts in mind, they don’t think about their daughter’s interest, feelings, love and pleasure. Moreover, they try to blackmail Saya. Finally, Saya convinces her parents that one has a right to choose their own life partner at appropriate age. Human rights, humanity, love and peace are more than caste, culture, religion. There is only one caste, the caste of humanity; there is only one religion, the religion of love; and there is only one hope, the hope of world peace. These aspects are well explained in the story, and the readers do not get confused while reading the book. Reading SAYA can be a delight for the young generation. It is very easy to understand the book and will keep you bound.
Like most of the movies depicting love story, the book seems spicy. However, the book may not come under the choice of people who read books for knowledge. Readers do not find more to gain from the book. Short form C.D.E.S used in different sections of the book does not have clear meaning. It can be understood only by the readers who are familiar with Central Departments of Tribhuvan University. Two characters Saya and Atit are made to travel between Norway and Nepal quite frequently. But in economic reality, it does not come under the practice of any Nepali student studying abroad.
Love and attraction are two different things. Love becomes stronger as we go further but attraction becomes weaker as we go further. Sometimes, the readers feel it’s not love but it’s the attraction between Saya and Atit since there are so many ups and downs in the story when these characters are not together. If they were in true love, distance between them should not have brought misunderstanding between them. The writer has tried to bring them into marital relation forcefully to prove the book to be a successful love story.
Caste difference is the main source of problems between Saya and Atit. We have to remember what Laxmi Prasad Devkota wrote ‘Man is great by heart not by caste’. If our family and society call themselves civilized and educated, they have to take lessons from late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a Kashmiri Brahmin, who married a Muslim.
The basic underlying problem is that, we are natural beings but have not become natural so far. Our civilization has not been upgraded to such a rate that it can eliminate inequality. Why are we backward on it? We really need a revolutionary social transformation that will gear our civilization to the same place as the rest of the world. And I believe this can be achieved if we all learn to be natural in dealing with matters of humanity.
(Bijaya Kumar Shrestha is the Academic Program Coordinator at DWIT.)