Chapamarko Choro by Mahesh Bikram Shah
Chapamarko Choro by Mahesh Bikram Shah is a good book based on the situation and consequences of the villages during the civil war started by the Maoists. Based on the situations and state of the villages of the Nepal, especially the rural villages, the book wonderfully presents the suffering and pleas of the people living in that part of Nepal.
Rather than being a single novel, it is a collection of stories of the lives of those who are victims of civil war. The victims do not always have to be the villagers, the PLAs, known locally as ‘Chapamars’ could also sometimes be the victims. The war started by the leaders has left many lives disturbed and dismantled. The various stories in the book explain and describe the same thing, the consequences and effects of the war. How the war changes a perfectly happy and prosperous village into a barren land, lives are lost, hopes gone, emptiness, fear and danger looming around the place where once joy, happiness and love prospered. The places that were filled with the happy voices and sound of children are now covered with the sound of gun shots and blasts, cries of lost lives.
In one of the stories, a man, after many years, come to visit his dying father in his birth village. On the way home, he has flashbacks of the memories of the village which was so lively during his childhood days and is now so dead and quiet. He had to hide and look back constantly, to be careful about not being seen. He visits the houses of his childhood friends but finds no one except the old couples. The village now has only old couples living as the young generations has either been pulled out for wars or send away from home to keep them safe. Even his mother does not let him stay overnight and he has to return back in the company of the darkness so no one, especially the rebels, could see him. The book has the collection of beautifully presented touching and heart tearing stories that sends chills to your spine as you read them. The hard ships faced by the people in remote villages of Nepal are wonderfully covered in the stories and compiled into a book by Mahesh Bikram Shah for everyone to know and understand. The name ‘Chapamarko Choro’ of the book is taken by a story in the book of the same title which describes the story of a little boy born to a rebel ‘Chapamar’ living inside a prison.