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].
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
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.
Young couples at a loss to articulate submerged desires find it difficult to communicate in times of stress.
In "The Good Shopkeeper," an accountant who loses his job drifts away from his wife and into an affair with a servant girl; the dissolution of another man's marriage to an American woman gives way to an unusual rebound relationship in "Deepak Misra's Secretary.
Those seeking the exoticism so often found in contemporary Indian fiction won't find it here—there are no lush descriptions or forays into spirituality. In an assured and subtle manner, Upadhyay anchors small yet potent epiphanies in a place called Kathmandu, and quietly calls it home. This collection sports an enticing cover and will likely do better as an original paperback than it might have as a hardcover.
A seven-city author tour will give Upadhyay some U. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. download this book. Apple Books. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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: Cambridge University Press.
Calhoun, Craig, ed. Habermas and the Public Sphere. Cambridge, MA.
Chatterjee, Partha. Princeton, N.
In Everyday Life in South Asia. Diane Mines and Sarah Lamb, eds. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. Dixit, Kunda. Biblio 8 9,10 :