by Sukkum Chemjong Limbu

Surina Shakya
Branch Manager, Laxmi Bank, Pulchowk

As a child, Dashain festival reminded me about the happiness when elders gave you dakchina and blessings. I vividly remember how eagerly I used to wait for it. During one of the holidays, I decided to read a book called “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. I started the book and did not realise how time flew. I thought it would take me a month of the Dashain holiday to read it but in just a few days, I was done. The book gave me a sense of happiness, a realisation that you can live life on your own terms.

In retrospect, it reminds me of my relationship with my sisters; how lovely it was, how we connected. It also reminded me that women are not just what society tells us who we are, and that we can pursue our interests no matter what society tells us. I was very much influenced by the character Beth. The way she was always giving and helping others; it set a good example for me that happiness is found in helping and giving to others.

Riya Basnet
Miss Nepal Earth, 2019 & Co Founder, Young Roots Nepal

My serious relationship with books started pretty early. Growing up, my friends and family remember me as that one young person who was reading all the time and anywhere to the point of annoyance. The Archie comics were probably few of the first reads that I got addicted to. However, if I have to name my earliest novel, it has to be “Tell me your dreams” by Sidney Sheldon. In seventh grade, I was so intrigued by the story that I even managed to sneak it into school hours. I clearly remember finishing it in three sittings. The atmosphere of suspense and the brilliant yet simple language that the writer uses to unfold all the intricately interwoven plots got me hooked. As a teenager to understand the characters so well and deeply, to feel for them and feel with them was truly something. I distinctly, to this date, remember all the emotions aroused by the book from the intimate to the morbid suspense scenes. I felt like part of me was taken away once the story ended. I went on a book spree after that and never looked back.

Niranjan Kunwar
Writer, Educator, Author: Between Queen and the Cities

I discovered reading in primary school and promptly got hooked. I began consuming Enid Blyton’s mystery series, and then dove into Archie and Jughead’s world. But the book that pushed me irrevocably towards the world of literature was C.S.Lewis Narnia series, particularly The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. A fantasy novel, the book contained every ingredient that could lure a pre-teen nerd growing up in 1990s Kathmandu – adventure, mystery, and an otherworldly allure. Even now, I can enter the snowy landscape. My heart palpitates with apprehension. A bunch of siblings playing hide and seek discover a wardrobe that leads them to an ice-cold witch and a generous lion. Voila!

Suvani Singh
Director, Quixote’s Cove & Satori Center for the Arts

I grew up listening to Durga Lal Shrestha’s children’s poems in Nepal Bhasa. My grandmother used to sing them to me. Meeting with Durga Lal ji and reading the poems in Nepal Bhasa a couple of years back brought back these precious memories from my childhood. It was such an honour to earn Durga Lal ji and his family’s trust to publish some of the songs as children’s illustrated books in Nepal Bhasa as well as in English and Nepali. I hope these books will create lasting memories for Nepali children – they are incredible works of children’s literature that deserves to be celebrated and shared throughout the world.

Denish Adhikari
Food, books & lifestyle Blogger, thehungrywords

The idea of books in my childhood were the only ones I carried in my school bag as I grew up in Damauli, Tanahun. The privilege of getting to travel back and forth to Kathmandu led me to stationery stores around the city where I would see brightly hung comics. I remember how I pulled my mother towards a stationery store that had a big book of “Pinochhio and His Adventures” on display. The cover was a picture of unusual wooden boy standing on the tongue of a big whale all scared and an old man trying to save him. My mother definitely saw the temptation in my eyes and it ended with me holding a plastic bag with a big comic book inside. Turning the pages I could feel the texture of the thick silky paper. While the story was short, the comic was an extensive version and I might not get the story right but it gave me some moral lessons.
Back home, maybe I was the only one with a book that was so interesting, one where I had found a world that came alive to a imagination. Today the memories rush back and I feel like going back to the stationery shop in Ason to reclaim that particular memory, a visit to my childhood.

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