Development activist and the Executive Director of Karuna Foundation, Deepak Raj Sapkota, has reread Hitler ra Yahudi three times. Why? “Because I am heavily touched by how the book narrates human emotions, freedom, and human nature, all those encased in BP’s powerful prose,” says Sapkota. Sapkota loves biographies and autobiographies and fiction, especially those that pivot around history. Narendra Raule caught up with Sapkota to talk about his reading habits and his love for books. Excerpts:
What was your most recent read?
I recently read Kutniti ra Raajneeti (Diplomacy and Politics) by Ramesh Nath Pandey. I have been a witness to Nepali politics since 2036 BS and the book provided me a chance to revisit political happenings over the last decades. Pandey is one personality who claims to have been close to the movers and shakers in the corridors of power. The book helped me gain an insight into the inner workings of the contemporary Nepali polity. Though, I feel the book is a tad too self-centric. Also, recently I finished Khusi by Bijaya Kumar.
What books are you reading currently?
I am reading Nayan Raj Pandey’s Sallipir and The Great Escape, by Angus Deaton.
Do you reread?
I read Bhavani Bhikshu’s Aagat twice; the book helps one understand the political and social atmosphere during the time between 1990 to 2016 BS. The book is set in places such as Biratnagar, Bhirahawa, Banaras and Kathmandu.
I have read almost all of BP’s works at least twice. I am heavily touched by Hitler ra Yahudi: The book narrates the human emotions, freedom, and human nature—all written in BP’s powerful prose.
Do you relate to the characters you read?
I have fallen in love with characters many times. Rewa of Hitler ra Yahudi; Sumnima of Sumnima; and Bhote Dai of Munamadan are some of the characters I fell deeply in love with. I am also attracted to characters from the works of Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and JM Coetzee.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I love books that deal with the nuances of poverty, justice, and human emotions. I also love to read poetry and write them at times too.
Why do you read?
While reading I am concerned about the time and circums- tances the character is living under. I love to understand the society the book I am reading is set in.
Any books that you want to read but have not got a chance?
I want to read the novel Veer Charitra, by Girishballav Joshi, written about 115 years ago.
Who are your favourite authors?
I adore BP Koirala, Devkota, Nayan Raj Pandey, Buddhisagar, Mitch Albom and Arundhati Roy to name a few.
I like reading biographies and fiction. I really enjoyed the autobiographies by BP Koirala, Gandhi and Mandela. I also loved these historical epics: Kamal Dixit’s Janga Bhadur Ko Belayet Yatra and Aba Kahilei Yesto Nahos, by Baburam Acharya. I also liked Dor Bahadur Bista’s Sotala.
One book you would recommend to our readers?
Devi Bhagawat. The epic speaks volumes about what ‘Kali Yug’ is all about. Other books I want to recommend are: Have A Little Faith, by Mitch Albom; Disgrace, by JM Coetzee; and, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin Sharma.