The Guru of Love
Samrat Upadhyay

The GuruThe Guru of Love is the first Nepalese novel I have read and it was an interesting experience indeed. It was even more interesting because I was constantly picturing my friend Shanna on the streets and temples of Kathmandu. Namely she sent me this novel straight from the top of the world 🙂

This was an easy read. Description of local religious customs, arranged marriages, matching between the castes (and consequences if the match fails) … were very interesting. It was a glimpse into another world, so different from my own.

On the other hand there were many similarities. The main characters are living in the country in which democracy is about to arrive, they are struggling to fulfill their basic needs but also to fulfill the expectations of the others (in-laws who are quite rich). Life under very flammable political situation on the boundary of poverty where everything apart from food is a luxury was very well described. As well as the fact that love doesn’t depend on financial situation.

But the main thing, story about unrestrained passion is what I couldn’t relate myself with. Of course, I’m not talking about sexual fantasies and need to fulfill them but about the dealing with the issue.
I do think that infidelity is so passé, therefore I founded Mr. Ramchandra very irritating. Naturally not because he was having an affair but because the way he dealt with it. I really couldn’t relate myself with his decisions.
And then there is his wife Goma. In the brief description inside the book there is …and he [Ramchandra] learns that he knows far less about his wife […] than he thought which is probably correct but what she has done is really little too much. Again I couldn’t connect myself with her attitude either. I don’t know, maybe that kind of women exists somewhere but for me, from my point of view this was other dimension (extraterrestrial).

In the end maybe all this is part of the general difference in mentality. Maybe that is not so strange for Nepalese. But I guess I couldn’t know that.