Nothing To Declare by Rabi Thapa

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Nothing To Declare

In the title story, Bikram achieves his most urgent middle-class dream, to emigrate to London. Young phoren-returned Nepalis hang out in the bars of Thamel in 'Night Out in Kathmandu', sharing tables with those who did not could not go. They talk about pretty much the same things: visas, music, booze, the impossibility of getting laid in the city. There are foreigners too, trekking on the usual routes, smoking cheap grass and looking for their inner selves. The Maobadis loom large in 'Home for Dashain', wreaking vengeance on behalf of the people. Though rarely mentioned in the city, they are ever present, invoked by the sad pole dancers in the more risqué bars and the transvestites pounding the streets looking for customers. And in 'Aryaghat', a Kathmandu family lays to rest the ashes of a Nepali boy who has committed suicide in Alabama. The sixteen stories in Nothing to Declare are passionate, pensive and at times disenchanted. They mirror the experiences of the middle-class youth of Kathmandu as they build lives, trying to make sense and pushing the limits of a rapidly changing but ever-conservative society.
In the title story, Bikram achieves his most urgent middle-class dream, to emigrate to London. Young phoren-returned Nepalis hang out in the bars of Thamel in 'Night Out in Kathmandu', sharing tables with those who did not could not go. They talk about pretty much the same things: visas, music, booze, the impossibility of getting laid in the city. There are foreigners too, trekking on the usual routes, smoking cheap grass and looking for their inner selves. The Maobadis loom large in 'Home for Dashain', wreaking vengeance on behalf of the people. Though rarely mentioned in the city, they are ever present, invoked by the sad pole dancers in the more risqué bars and the transvestites pounding the streets looking for customers. And in 'Aryaghat', a Kathmandu family lays to rest the ashes of a Nepali boy who has committed suicide in Alabama. The sixteen stories in Nothing to Declare are passionate, pensive and at times disenchanted. They mirror the experiences of the middle-class youth of Kathmandu as they build lives, trying to make sense and pushing the limits of a rapidly changing but ever-conservative society.
Publisher: Penguin Books ISBN: 9780143415435 Pages: