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An interesting book to read

“Maile Chine Janeka Bideshiharu” [Foreigners I have Known]
Written by Prakash A Raj
IMG_1344The writer has put together a book consisting of memories and write ups about foreigners from different continents and countries whom he had met during his sojourn as an under-graduate student in Europe and USA.
He recounts many events and ideas that must have surprised him and thought would be interesting to readers of today like two persons who had served in Africa as missionaries charging only 100 dollars per month for rentals. The octogenarian missionaries having to sell their house to move to a pensioners’ apartment, although, they had a big family.
He also recounts of his stay in Bradford, UK where everyone thought he was a local as he had the features of a Pakistani and Bradford had a large population from the Indian sub continent. From his experience he comes to the already well know conclusion that one should not generalize people from any country or ethnic groups as there are both good and bad people.
Similarly he recounts of meeting people from various countries with different background and religions who had either befriended him or had worked with him as his colleagues during his job as a UNHCR employee.
He recounts how he was very popular among his UNHCR colleagues in Peshawar as he could speak English, French and Urdu. He recounts of various incidents where his multi language talent had helped him to meet with many foreigners and friends.
In the later stages of his life he became the member of the writers’ society known as PEN, Nepal and he recounts the various traits of the people from different countries that he met during his travel to various countries for PEN’s Congress be it in Asia, Europe or South America.
The author has tried to give the Nepalese audience the ideas and thoughts and characteristics of people from various countries with whom he came in contact and the change that has taken place all over the world during his lifetime. Some of the write ups are pretty interesting while others are well known to many Nepalese who are more well travelled than before. The book is of 82 pages with a lot of color photos at the back of the book. The book would have been better if the photos had been placed all over the book wherever the concerned person or event had been written about instead of lumped together at the very end. In this age of digital photography much required to be done regarding the quality of the photos.
Overall the author has put up a short and interesting book which is very reader friendly.
(Reviewed by Kushal Thapa)