Here is a directory of 50 women from different walks in life in Nepal, a collaborative work by Bec Ordish, Sarita Gurung and Nimdiki Sherpa-Ordish, with photos by Jessica Amity. 50 Women from Nepal comes with the claim to ‘change the way you see the world’, and it might if you give this book a chance.
The authors ask six questions on repeat to 50 women from public and private spheres, some known names and some now known, and many of whom have been profiled in this newspaper over the years.
The questions range from what matters, to their inspirations to the one word that matters, and in answering those six questions, the lives of these 50 Nepali women unfold before us.
Kalpana Pradhan is a mother, and to her being a mother matters the most. Self-educated, she has written over forty children’s books in Nepali. But the life of a writer came to her by fluke when she started writing stories for her own children, none of them written with the intent of a public eye.
The word ‘mother’ is uttered when we hurt, feel surprise or dismay. The term is loaded because of women like Pradhan, who fence their children from the world at crowded fetes in Pashupati. We also know this from Pratikshya Pradhan Joshi, who, as a teacher of Nepali, allows her students to sing and converse and get noisy in their classrooms as they learn, instead of disciplining them— variations of motherhood.