Sunday, July 14, 2024

Karnali Blues: A Tale of Love and Resilience

“Karnali Blues”, a tale of love and resilience delves into the intricate father-son relationship, as seen through the son’s perspective. The novel vividly portrays the hardships faced by a lower-middle-class father in Nepal’s Far Western Region, as seen through the eyes of his son. Starting from the narrator’s childhood, the story unfolds and captures his mischievous adventures, changing outlook on people and places, and the profound bond he shares with his father.

The Synopsis

Within the narrative of “Karnali Blues,” we embark on a journey alongside Brisha Bahadur, the story’s protagonist. The young man in his twenties comes back to his family home in Nepal’s Karnali province to care for his father. The father has experienced a brain hemorrhage. Over the course of 11 days, Brisha reflects on his history, a significant portion of which was shaped by the deep and affectionate connection he shared with his father.

The Setting 

The story unfolds in the serene village of Matera, nestled alongside the Amauri Khola, tributary of the majestic Himalayan Karnali River. The novel’s setting plays a significant role in the narrative. It offers readers a vivid picture of the scenes and allows them to immerse themselves in the story. Matera’s picturesque beauty serves as a memorable backdrop that enhances the reader’s ability to visualize and connect with the events.

The changing seasons in Matera take on a profound significance, as they symbolize the evolving nature of life in “Karnali Blues.” Nature itself becomes an active participant in the story, reflecting the changing fortunes, emotions, and experiences of the characters. This interplay between the seasons and the narrative creates a deeper connection between the reader and the story. The natural world mirrors the evolving dynamics and emotions of the characters. Matera’s idyllic setting and the transformative power of its seasons make it an integral part of the novel.

Karnali River

What makes this novel memorable?

Numerous works of poetry and stories have been dedicated to the unwavering love and sacrifices of mothers. However, few celebrate the resilience and strength of fathers. “Karnali Blues” stands as a tribute to the profound impact of fathers. This novel shines a light on the often overlooked perspective of fathers and the vital role they play in their children’s lives. It delves into the unspoken emotions, the sacrifices, and the enduring support of fathers, portraying their courage and love as a central theme.

“Karnali Blues” also resonates with its authenticity. It is not a dramatic or deeply analytical story. Instead, it presents a heartfelt narrative that delves into the experiences of families, especially the bond between fathers and sons.

Compelling figures like Bhagiram, Chandre, and Mamata didi stand out in the story. Each character brings a unique tale and imparts valuable lessons. Readers get a glimpse of the enchanting landscapes in Nepal’s far west. The author doesn’t shy away from illustrating the challenges and hardships of rural village life, alongside the natural beauty.


After the remarkable success of this tale of love and resilience, Buddhisagar’s “Karnali Blues,” the novel was skillfully translated into English by Michael Hutt. Michael Hutt’s translation is careful to keep the story simple while still preserving the cultural and social details. This means you can enjoy the story without losing the important parts that make it unique to its culture.

Appsha Digital

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