Aalikhit by Dr. Dhruba Chandra Gautam
A wonderful novel written by one of the prominent Nepalese writers Dr. Dhruba Chandra Gautam, Aalikhit is a story of an unidentified and unacknowledged village in Terai region of Nepal. The village named Birhinpur, Barewa has not been included in any map and is neither exists in the country nor outside of it. Although the village has been there for a long time, it does not have an identity.
The book beautifully portrays the poverty, a very villigious, illiterate, uneducated people of very old village of Birhinpur, Barewa. In the novel, the writer, along with a research team of 11 people, goes to the village for research on old and worthy things found in the village which has its own history and faith. There are various characters in the book, the main being the research team with its Angurman, Rishi and Sarad being the team leaders along with some of the villagers like Dharichan, Sunara, Saraju, a health post officer Rabi and Zamdar, the president or the leader of the village who has been described in almost all parts of the novel and has contributed a lot for the village.
The villages have no value of life and are unknown to the worth of their lives, however, an old lake named Dhorahantal present there consists of thousand of valuable gold, diamond and other worthy and precious things that were present here since the time of Dhuryodhan. Many people, in order to make their life happy and rich with this wealth, go to the lake, however, they end up dead at the chest of the pond. There isn’t any more rice to eat and the people soon have to leave without eating or whatever they ate would not be digested by the stomach. Pitying their condition, Sharad goes for Dhorahantal but give up his life. However, when that happens, the village, too, cease to exists with no houses and not a single soul seen there, which surprises the writer and his entire team.
What happened to the village? Was sacrifice made by Sarad worth anything? What is the mystery behind this disappearing village? These questions could only be answered after reading the book Alikhit and that is for the readers to find out.
The novel gives us a meaningful way of viewing our society, culture and tradition in a meaningful way and in his book, author Dr. Dhruba Chandra Gautam has wonderfully portrayed the present lifestyle of people ruining themselves for the worldly pleasures and the desire of accumulating wealth. One of the strongest statements from the book that leaves a mark on the readers is ‘wherever human beings go (snow or air), they take the heat of their problems and conditions with them’.