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” Book Review: Radio Chhap Salai “

Oct 22

A renowned broadcast journalist known for his storytelling, Dear Kalayn has come out with a novel that weaves through several historical characters around radio and revolution.

The book, whose title has been drawn from the brand of matches used by BP Koirala, reads like a narrative non- fiction because it attempts to create drama around real historical events and characters spread over nearly a century. Notable among the narratives are kilbourne , an electrical engineer who first oversaw the construction of hydro-power plant in Nepal; the struggles of Melwadevi, Nepal’s first recorded singer; the travails of Aruna Rayamajhi , a journalist closely associated with the Maoists during their decade-long People’s War.
The book tries to dramatise little known facts of history, woven around the image of radio and the difficulties faced by broadcast journalists. It is easy to read, but could appear monotonous were it not for nuggets of history. The book does not work so well as a novel because in the process of covering diverse historical events and characters, the book has scarified a crucial element of fiction- conflict. Despite that short coming, the book exposes a different kind of social and historical reality that we need to be aware of.

Source: Himalayan News Service