ARRESTING GOD IN KATHMANDU PDF
Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay; 2 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Accessible book, Fiction, In library, Protected. Arresting God in Kathmandu book. Read 83 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. From the first Nepali author writing in English to be pu. Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Love and matrimony are as complicated in modern Arresting God in Kathmandu: Stories by [Upadhyay, Samrat].
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Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , Ronny Noor and others published Arresting God in Kathmandu. two collections of short stories, Arresting God in Kathmandu () and Royal Ghosts (), and two novels, The Guru of Love () and Buddha's Orphans . Arresting God in Kathmandu is the debut book by Nepali-American author Samrat Upadhyay. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.
More recently, this trend has accelerated due to the 1 explosion of the speculative real estate industry; and 2 construction boom of tall cement houses devoid of any visual harmony with or aesthetic conformity to neighboring buildings.
This process reflects the housing boom beyond Ring Road, which started in the s, but accelerated during the most violent years of the Maoist insurgency in the early s when rural-urban migration peaked. While some such peripheral neighborhoods have become working class or squatter communities, the majority follow what Liechty One could add the recent upper class developments of housing colonies and tall apartment complexes to this list of suburban innovations Nelson However, the promise of an education in the States also carries immense fear for the parents back home.
Perhaps then, rather than fields and prostitution, the urban moral imaginary extends to a new outside — in this case, the unpredictable world of the United States known only through global media and hearsay.
Of Leisure and Pleasure: These shifts, too, tend to follow more class trends than caste. As economic anthropologists have shown, a society based on commodification, money, and contractual relations remains just as morally contingent as a society based on religious values see Bloch and Parry For Liechty, class logic is infused with the caste logics of religious orthodoxy, propriety, and suitability.
As opposed to the productive old public spaces of squares, water taps, temples, and vegetable markets, new public spaces are the restaurants, hotels, offices, schools and shopping centers Liechty As Basnet Consequently, women enter sites such as restaurants, which are socially produced for male consumer pleasure b , at their own risk d.
Similarly for Upadhyay, it is gender rather than caste or ethnicity that sets limits on the openness of public spaces. The religious and ethnic diversity of Kathmandu Valley should, rather, require us to speak of caste in the plural to distinguish between the multiple—all-Nepal post-Muluki Ain , Newar, Parbatiya, and Madhes— caste structures.
Whereas the fiction expresses a gender-neutral critique of upper class privilege in the leisure zones of restaurants and travel, when it comes to the street, the critique turns to male passivity and lewdness.
The interior is narrated with awe: For Liechty, the class logic of the restaurant reproduces traditional patriarchal relations in a new format. However, unequal gender relations hardly apply to the three examples discussed above. Two include females joining male partners to the restaurant, and in the final case, it is a woman, Gauri, who invites her male companion, the narrator, to the Soaltee Hotel.
Nonetheless, their restaurant going also provides a space for privacy. She imagines a life married to Jaya in which they would tour around Europe, visit friends in New York, and return to Nepal. Maybe America? Although trips to India and America might be common occurrences for Jaya, when in Nepal, his privilege comes with the burden of history and place.
Others just see Jaya as non-Nepali: As seen in The Guru of Love, the critique of upper class lifestyles is attached to the hangover of the Rana aristocracy — nearly a half-century after the end of Rana rule. Importantly, this is solely a male activity.
He felt humiliated.
In the two most striking cases, Upadhyay uses the private automobile to highlight sexual impropriety. Upadhyay has received criticism from Nepali critics for his treatment of women and explicit sexuality.
While the former reproduces orientalist images of polygamous families, the latter depicts women as passive sexual objects. If we change the subject from sexuality to space, we find a more subtle sympathy for the condition of female characters.
In both cases, interestingly, the shame of the daughter is seen through the eyes of a parent. From this perspective, the daughter appears isolated by society and her own family. But again, the sense of shame is narrated not from the perspective of the offending female. Laxmi Memsab stared at the floor.
The woman seemed to occupy the whole aisle. Her face was heavy with makeup, and her round eyes bulged in rage Jeevan walks behind her carrying the bag, remains silent during the confrontation, and sits in the front seat of the taxi silent during the ride home.
In this way, Jeevan represents a social perspective sympathetic to the single woman in public, but unable to defend her. In two other cases, the spatial freedom of women seeks not sympathy, but rather serves to expose the moral weaknesses of men.
Long before the political transformation of , Nilu learns to be independent as a teenager in s Kathmandu. Although Raja and Nilu both take pleasure in exploring the city, it is only Nilu who is criticized for it. Just as Liechty a: Forget about the young men their own age, those who whistled, burst into songs, and suggested an outing, the eve teasers, as they were called — these were predictable, and in a way, easy to shrug off unless the transgression was blatant, such as when they sidled up to press against a young woman in a public bus.
The more disturbing ones were the middle-aged men, those with overworked wives and well-loved children at home. Smoking and chewing betel nuts, these men loitered outside tea shops and made lurid comments to young women and barely pubescent girls. Let them imagine whatever they want, Nilu thought, and every day her defiance grew — against these men and the whole idea of domesticity that gave them the upper hand while their long-suffering wives wrung huge piles of wet clothes in the yard and chased their children to make them swallow another mouthful of rice.
The consumption of such films represents, for Liechty, the contradictory desires of modern goods. On one hand, it stands for empowerment in a class-based commodity culture, but on the other hand, as the object of male erotic desire in the films, women find the films disempowering, foreign, and disgusting. But this indifference to social opinion is not out of rebellion, but out of emotional desperation.
She anticipated his arrival at her house each evening, cognizant of the watchful eyes of her neighbors.
Some grief Upadhyay portrays her as a product of her upbringing by a negligent mother and her love for a rebellious boy. She is, thus, a defiant feminist response to the other female characters who have no one to defend them. References Basnet, Chudamani. Studies in Nepali History and Society 15 2: Bloch, Maurice and Jonathan Parry, eds. Money and the Morality of Exchange. Cambridge University Press. Calhoun, Craig, ed.
Habermas and the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA.: The MIT Press. Chatterjee, Partha. Namespaces Article Talk.
ARRESTING GOD IN KATHMANDU
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Being middle class is thus a performance by which subjects consume and display products and tell narratives that place them in between the foreign imitation and excessive lifestyles of the rich and the tradition and deprivation of the poor. In some ways, this approach shares similarities with the transactional theory of caste made famous by the anthropologist McKim Marriott who understood caste to be produced through the exchange and consumption of substances.
The first section of this essay asks how Upadhyay locates his narratives.
Specifically, I investigate how class maps onto residential location and architecture in the novel, The Guru of Love. I argue that the novel reflects an inversion of spatial-moral organization from the model of the Newar city to the class- based urban sprawl of contemporary Kathmandu.
Liechty ch. Foremost, however, is the imagery of Rani Pokhari as a symbol of death and suicide. He thought of the monsters with long tentacles that supposedly lived at the bottom, and he imagined them tearing into his flesh.
Would his wife be able to recognize his body? Could he do it? Most characters are only known by their first name. Instead, we are left with vague references to lower and upper castes that neglect the complex nature of caste in Nepal. Despite his fiction being set almost exclusively in Kathmandu, there is little to no mention of Newar people, culture and language.
This is a far cry from the romanticized image of historic Kathmandu architecture celebrated by international conservation agencies and captured in countless coffee-table books.
Class and Locality in The Guru of Love Rather than caste, the residential identification of characters usually speaks to a class division in that long-time residents of the city are more likely to belong to upper classes than recent arrivals. The class division between outsiders and Kathmandu-ites is best represented in the relationship between Ramchandra and his in-laws, the Pandeys, in The 6 Andrew Nelson Guru of Love.
ARRESTING GOD IN KATHMANDU
For his mother-in-law, Mrs. He disdains Mr. Or climbing down the stairs, his hand caressing the smooth balustrade. Or inspecting the garden on a bright spring day, giving instructions to the gardener. Or having workers install a Western-style commode bathroom on each floor of the house, which now had only a squatting-style bathroom. Conversely, when his thoughts turn to lower class migrants, he does not express any sort of allegiance despite his own status as an outsider to Kathmandu.
People from the hills and mountains to the north and the plains to the south were migrating here daily trying to survive. Soon only its carcass would remain. He criticizes the regressive politics of his wealthy in-laws and the desperation of the poor migrants. In its historical approach, which spans over fifty years, we are given a fictional account of a Kathmandu converting from a small city to its current over-populated condition immersed in a transnational network of global people and goods.
The residential and lifestyle shifts of Raja and Nilu follow this growth from neighborhoods on the edge of the old city to their final home in the suburb of Budhanilkantha.
As the novel opens, the moral landscape of the city is firmly rooted in a Newar conception of the city. Whereas Lainchour represents the safety of open space for the young Raja, his next place of residence, Thamel, stands for social freedom. Although physically part of the old city, Upadhyay uses Thamel as a symbol of escape for the young couple, Nilu and Raja.
While shopping, they pretend to be Indian, and spend their time mixing with foreigners, eating at Japanese restaurants, and listening to Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and the Rolling Stones. After the birth of their child, Maitreya, the couple moves to Chabel, a place marking the cross roads of northwest Kathmandu between the constructed Ring Road and the road to Boudha.
This section also expands the narrative geographically to include areas such as Dilli Bazar and Kalimati that combine Rana-era and post development HMGN Since the mids, the urbanization of localities outside of the city core has meant the transformation of open fields into residential units.
More recently, this trend has accelerated due to the 1 explosion of the speculative real estate industry; and 2 construction boom of tall cement houses devoid of any visual harmony with or aesthetic conformity to neighboring buildings. This process reflects the housing boom beyond Ring Road, which started in the s, but accelerated during the most violent years of the Maoist insurgency in the early s when rural-urban migration peaked.
One could add the recent upper class developments of housing colonies and tall apartment complexes to this list of suburban innovations Nelson However, the promise of an education in the States also carries immense fear for the parents back home. Perhaps then, rather than fields and prostitution, the urban moral imaginary extends to a new outside — in this case, the unpredictable world of the United States known only through global media and hearsay.
These shifts, too, tend to follow more class trends than caste. As economic anthropologists have shown, a society based on commodification, money, and contractual relations remains just as morally contingent as a society based on religious values see Bloch and Parry For Liechty, class logic is infused with the caste logics of religious orthodoxy, propriety, and suitability.
As opposed to the productive old public spaces of squares, water taps, temples, and vegetable markets, new public spaces are the restaurants, hotels, offices, schools and shopping centers Liechty — Consequently, women enter sites such as restaurants, which are socially produced for male consumer pleasure b , at their own risk d.
Similarly for Upadhyay, it is gender rather than caste or ethnicity that sets limits on the openness of public spaces.But during down times I read good books, watch good movies, or simply meditate.
Princeton, N. Enlarge cover. Nov 11, Benu Bennuu rated it liked it. Hindu Transactions: Diversity without Dualism.
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