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Seto Bagh-Diamond Shamsher Rana: Book Summary & Reveiw

seto bagh book summary and review

“Seto Bagh” is a historical novel by Diamond Shamsher Rana that tells the story of the Nepalese monarchy during the 19th century Rana dynasty. The book focuses on Jung Bahadur Rana, the founder of the dynasty and Nepal’s prime minister.

The novel explores themes of power, ambition, and betrayal through Jung Bahadur’s perspective. It starts with his rise from a low-ranking soldier to Nepal’s prime minister, and how he consolidates his power by eliminating his rivals.

Throughout the story, we meet various characters with their own motivations, such as Jung Bahadur’s brothers and cousins who are also vying for power. The novel also explores Jung Bahadur’s personal life, including his relationships with his wife, mistress, and children.

“Seto Bagh” provides an intriguing glimpse into Nepalese history during the Rana dynasty. It is a must-read for those interested in Nepalese history or anyone looking for an engaging and thought-provoking novel.

Here is the table of contents for the book “Seto Bagh” by Diamond Shamsher:

Part 1: The Rise of Jung Bahadur

  • Chapter 1: The Beginning of the End
  • Chapter 2: The Attack on Birgunj
  • Chapter 3: The Death of Mathabar Singh Thapa
  • Chapter 4: The Coup Against Rajendra Bikram Shah
  • Chapter 5: The Rise of Jung Bahadur

Part 2: The Reign of Jung Bahadur

  • Chapter 6: The First Years of Power
  • Chapter 7: The Visit of the British Envoy
  • Chapter 8: The Construction of the Rana Palace
  • Chapter 9: The Building of the Rana Regime
  • Chapter 10: The Assassination of Kot Massacre
  • Chapter 11: The Continuing Legacy of Jung Bahadur

Part 3: The Fall of the Rana Regime

  • Chapter 12: The Early Years of the 20th Century
  • Chapter 13: The Visit of King Edward VIII
  • Chapter 14: The Growing Unrest
  • Chapter 15: The Revolution of 1950
  • Chapter 16: The End of the Rana Regime

Part 4: The Aftermath

  • Chapter 17: The Establishment of the Constitutional Monarchy
  • Chapter 18: The First Democratic Elections
  • Chapter 19: The Maoist Insurgency
  • Chapter 20: The Royal Massacre
  • Chapter 21: The End of the Monarchy

Part 5: The Future of Nepal

  • Chapter 22: The Challenges of Democracy
  • Chapter 23: The Post-Maoist Era
  • Chapter 24: The Earthquake of 2015
  • Chapter 25: The Current Political Landscape
  • Chapter 26: The Future of Nepal

Part 1 of “Seto Bagh” is called “The Rise of Jung Bahadur” and it covers the events that led to his rise to power in Nepal. Chapter 1 describes the declining state of the Shah dynasty, the ruling family of Nepal, and the increasing power struggles among the nobility. Chapter 2 talks about the attack by the British East India Company on Birgunj, a town on the border with India, which made the Nepali court worry about further British aggression. In Chapter 3, Mathabar Singh Thapa, one of the most powerful nobles, is assassinated, leading to more instability. Chapter 4 talks about the coup against King Rajendra Bikram Shah, in which Jung Bahadur played a major role. Chapter 5 explains how Jung Bahadur consolidated his power and established the Rana regime, which would rule Nepal for over a century.

“Seto Bagh” provides a vivid account of the political turmoil in Nepal during the 19th century. Part 1 sets the stage for the rise of Jung Bahadur Rana and the establishment of the Rana dynasty, which would shape the country’s history for many years to come. Anyone interested in the history of Nepal or political intrigue will find “Seto Bagh” a captivating read.

Part 2 of “Seto Bagh” is called “The Reign of Jung Bahadur” and it covers the years when Jung Bahadur Rana ruled Nepal and established the Rana regime. Chapter 6 explains how he consolidated his rule and implemented various reforms in the initial years of his power. Chapter 7 talks about the visit of the British envoy to Nepal, which helped establish friendly relations between the two countries. Chapter 8 details the construction of the grand Rana Palace, which symbolized the Ranas’ power and wealth. Chapter 9 explains how the Rana regime was built through the suppression of dissent and consolidation of power. Chapter 10 discusses the brutal assassination of the Nepali court known as the Kot massacre. Chapter 11 covers the lasting legacy of Jung Bahadur, who remained a powerful figure in Nepal even after his death.

“Seto Bagh” is an insightful account of the political and cultural history of Nepal during the Rana dynasty. Part 2 provides a fascinating glimpse into the reign of Jung Bahadur and the establishment of the Rana regime, which brought about significant changes in Nepalese society. Anyone interested in the history of Nepal, the Rana dynasty or the politics of power will find “Seto Bagh” an engaging read.

Part 3 of “Seto Bagh” is titled “The Fall of the Rana Regime” and covers the events that led to the end of the Rana regime in Nepal. Chapter 12 talks about the early 1900s, when the Rana regime faced many challenges from different groups. Chapter 13 details King Edward VIII’s visit to Nepal, which showed the world how isolated and undeveloped the country was. Chapter 14 talks about the growing unrest in Nepal, including protests and rebellions against the Rana regime. Chapter 15 describes the revolution of 1950, which led to the overthrow of the Ranas and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Chapter 16 covers the end of the Rana regime and the beginning of a new era in Nepal’s history. This part of the book is a fascinating look at the changes and struggles that Nepal went through during this time.

Part 4 of the book, “The Aftermath,” discusses what happened after the fall of the Rana regime. Chapter 17 covers the establishment of the constitutional monarchy in Nepal and the early years of democracy. Chapter 18 describes the first democratic elections in Nepal and the challenges faced by the new government. Chapter 19 discusses the Maoist insurgency in Nepal, which was a violent conflict that lasted for over a decade. Chapter 20 covers the Royal Massacre of 2001, in which several members of the Nepali royal family were killed. Chapter 21 describes the end of the monarchy in Nepal and the establishment of a republic. The section explores the challenges faced by Nepal in the post-monarchy era, including the establishment of a new government, economic development, and political stability. The book provides an in-depth look at the history and politics of Nepal and is a valuable resource for those interested in the country’s past and present.

Part 5 of this article is titled “The Future of Nepal.” It talks about the current state of Nepal and what might happen in the future. Chapter 22 talks about the challenges Nepal faces with democracy. It covers corruption, political instability, and ethnic tensions. Chapter 23 talks about what happened after the Maoist insurgency ended. It covers the challenges of reintegrating former rebels into society. Chapter 24 covers the earthquake in 2015 that caused a lot of damage and loss of life. Chapter 25 talks about Nepal’s current political landscape. It covers the challenges the ruling government faces and debates over federalism and secularism. Chapter 26 explores what might happen in Nepal’s future. It talks about the potential for economic growth, political stability, and social development. The section concludes with a reflection on Nepal’s past, present, and future.

Top 10 Best Nepali Novels to Read – A Guide to Nepali Literature

top 10 nepali novel books

Nepali literature has a rich and diverse history that showcases the unique culture, traditions, and way of life of its people. From ancient epics to modern masterpieces, Nepali literature has something to offer to everyone. In this blog, we will explore the top 10 best Nepali novels that are must-reads for any literature enthusiast. These novels will transport you to a different world, giving you an insight into the Nepali way of life and culture.

In this blog, you will discover the top 10 best Nepali novels, their authors, and what makes them unique. You will get a glimpse into the literary traditions of Nepal, and understand the cultural, social, and political contexts in which these novels were written. By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of the rich and vibrant literary culture of Nepal.

The 10 Best Nepali Novels are:

  1. Palpasa Café by Narayan Wagle
  2. Karnali Blues by Buddhisagar
  3. Radha by Krishna Dharabasi
  4. Seto Bagh by Diamond Shumsher Rana
  5. Jiwan Kada Ki Phool by Jhamak Kumari Ghimire
  6. Seto Dharti by Amar Neupane
  7. Shirishko Phool by Bishnu Kumari Waiba
  8. Pagal Basti by Saru Bhakta
  9. Muna Madan by Laxmi Prasad Devkota
  10. Summer Love by Subin Bhattarai
Palpasa Cafe Summary Nepali book review

Palpasa Café by Narayan Wagle

Palpasa Café is a modern classic that tells the story of a young artist who falls in love with a foreign journalist during the height of the Nepalese Civil War. It explores the themes of love, war, and art, and how they intersect with each other.

karnali blues nepali book review and summary

Karnali Blues by Buddhisagar

Karnali Blues is a coming-of-age novel that tells the story of a young boy growing up in a remote village in Nepal. It explores the themes of identity, belonging, and the search for meaning in life.

Radha Nepali Book Review Summary

Radha by Krishna Dharabasi

Radha is a historical novel set in the 16th century that tells the story of a woman who defies societal norms and conventions to follow her heart. It explores the themes of love, duty, and sacrifice.

seto bagh book summary and review

Seto Bagh by Diamond Shumsher Rana

Seto Bagh is a historical novel set in the Rana period that tells the story of a tiger hunt gone wrong. It explores the themes of power, greed, and the consequences of our actions.

Jiwan Kada Ki Phool Book Review and Summary

Jiwan Kada Ki Phool by Jhamak Kumari Ghimire

Jiwan Kada Ki Phool, also known as “A Flower In The Midst Of Thorns,” is a book written by Jhamak Kumari Ghimire about her life struggles. It won the Madan Puraskar award and has become one of the best-selling Nepali books. Published in 2010, it has been reprinted seven times within two years, inspiring readers with its message of hope and perseverance.

Seto Dharti - Nepali Book Review

Seto Dharti by Amar Neupane

Seto Dharti by Amar Neupane is a captivating and emotional novel that portrays the struggles of a family during the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. It explores themes of love, loss, and the devastating effects of war on humanity, leaving readers feeling perplexed yet deeply moved.

Shirishko Phool Book Review and Summary

Shirishko Phool by Bishnu Kumari Waiba

“Shirish Ko Phool” is a classic Nepali novel by Parijat that tells a moving story of love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of social stigma and hardship.

Pagal Basti by Saru Bhakta book summary and review

Pagal Basti by Saru Bhakta

“Pagal Basti” is a critically acclaimed Nepali novel by Saru Bhakta that offers a poignant portrayal of the lives of marginalized communities in Kathmandu, exploring themes of poverty, oppression, and the human will to survive.


Muna Madan by Laxmi Prasad Devkota

Muna Madan is a masterpiece Nepali poem by Laxmi Prasad Devkota that narrates the story of a man named Muna. He sets out on a challenging journey to Tibet to provide for his family. The poem is an emotional and thought-provoking representation of human strength and the impact of love. Its timeless message and touching narrative will leave readers feeling perplexed yet captivated.

Summer Love book Summary in Nepali by Wilson Shrestha

Summer Love by Subin Bhattarai

Summer Love is a modern romance novel that tells the story of two young people who fall in love during their summer break. It explores the themes of young love, friendship, and the challenges of growing up.

Each of these 10 Nepali novels has its own unique style, themes, and messages that make them stand out. They showcase the rich cultural and literary heritage of Nepal, while also exploring universal themes that are relevant to readers from all backgrounds.

These exceptional Nepali novels are masterpieces of the country’s rich literary heritage, offering a captivating and insightful exploration of love, friendship, family, politics, and identity. These works of art provide a deep, immersive experience that not only encapsulates the Nepali culture and society but also has universal messages that resonate with readers from all walks of life.

Whether you’re a literature connoisseur or simply in search of an exceptional read, we wholeheartedly recommend immersing yourself in these 10 Nepali novels. With their carefully crafted characters, evocative settings, and mesmerizing narratives, these books are bound to both entertain and enrich you. These works of literature offer a unique perspective that will inspire, challenge and illuminate you, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a brustling and intellectually stimulating read.

Jhola Book Review and Summary

jhola book review and summary

“Jhola,” written by the acclaimed Nepali author Krishna Dharabasi, delves into the realm of uncertainty, identity, and tradition. The novel revolves around the protagonist, Purna, a young man struggling with the sudden and devastating loss of his father. Purna is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his community and asserting his own individuality, causing him to question the customs and beliefs of his hamlet.

However, Purna embarks on a journey of self-discovery, where he learns to embrace his own identity and to stand up for his convictions. The tale of “Jhola” is not only a heart-wrenching depiction of grief, but also a thought-provoking examination of societal norms.

The protagonist, Jhola, faces a completely different set of challenges as he is forced to flee his rural home after a near-fatal encounter with a local landlord. Jhola is thrown into the bustling city where he must navigate the complexities and dangers of urban life in order to find his place in the world.

As Jhola interacts with a diverse cast of characters, including other migrants, street vendors, and political activists, he gains a deeper understanding of the city and its ways. Despite facing numerous obstacles, Jhola remains determined to make a life for himself in the city and eventually finds work as a street vendor.

However, Jhola’s newfound sense of belonging is short-lived as he becomes embroiled in a conflict with the city authorities, forcing him to once again flee. During his travels, Jhola reflects on the experiences he has had and the lessons he has learned, ultimately leading to a deeper comprehension of the human condition.

In the end, Jhola returns to the city, wiser and more resilient, ready to face whatever the future may bring. He takes on a new job as a street vendor and begins to rebuild his life. Jhola’s journey is one of self-discovery and growth, as he grapples with issues of identity, belonging, and justice.

“Jhola” is an exceptional masterpiece that speaks to the universal human experience of loss, struggle, and self-discovery. Its powerful storytelling and portrayal of the human condition have garnered it numerous awards and solidified its place as a classic in modern Nepali literature. A must-read for anyone seeking to expand their literary horizons and delve into the complexities of the human experience.

The pluses associated with the opus “Jhola” penned by the Nepalese scribe Krishna Dharabasi are truly remarkable, to say the least!

An Enthralling Narrative: The narrative serves as a spellbinding and intellectually stimulating expedition of a youthful protagonist named Jhola, who is obligated to abandon his domicile and confront the labyrinthine intricacies of metropolitan existence to unearth his purpose in life.

Pertinent Thematic Exploration: The book delves into pivotal motifs, such as self-identity, belonging, justice, and the human experience, resulting in a thought-provoking read.

Eclectic Assembly of Personages: Jhola interacts with a medley of characters, including other migrants, street merchants, and political activists, who aid him in comprehending the metropolis and its ways.

A True Representation of Nepali Living: The novel presents a truthful depiction of Nepali life, encompassing its customs, traditions, and values.

Award-winning Accolades: The fiction has garnered numerous accolades for its compelling storytelling and its portrayal of the human experience, cementing its status as a highly esteemed piece of Nepalese literature.

However, there are certain drawbacks that accompany this literary masterpiece, including:

Profound Thematic Substance: The book grapples with intricate and sometimes troublesome themes, which may not be ideal for all readers.

Gradual Tempo: Some readers may find the pace of the book to be sluggish, particularly at the outset.

Culturally Particular: The book is situated in Nepal and may not be as comprehensible or relatable to readers unfamiliar with Nepali culture.

In conclusion, “Jhola” is a potent and intellectually stimulating novel that delves into crucial motifs and presents a true representation of Nepali living. Although it may not be ideal for all readers, it is a must-read for those intrigued by Nepalese literature or the human experience more broadly.

Radha Nepali Book Review Summary

Radha Nepali Book Review Summary

Book: Radha
 Krishna Dharabasi
Publisher: XlibrisUS
ISBN: 9781543470109
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 354
Summarized by: Wilson Shrestha

The novel differs from the traditional Krishna fable in two significant ways: first, it is told from the perspective of a woman; and second, the story is moved out of the realm of myth and into a more realistic context. The Mahabharat, an ancient epic text, provides much of the source material for Radha. Readers who are unfamiliar with Radha and Krishna’s love tale may find it difficult to get into the flow of the novel after a few pages. Even those who are unfamiliar with the myth will be lured into the story thanks to Mr. Paudyal’s informative introduction and gripping translation.

An ancient manuscript is discovered at the start of the book. The story of Radha and Krishna begins after some time spent looking for someone who can understand the manuscript. Krishna’s story is a classic Hindu myth, and many readers will be familiar with the fundamental plot. Nonetheless, Radha’s journal swiftly departs from the myth’s depiction of Krishna as a celestial figure. He and Radha live in a world that is as real as possible while remaining true to the myth’s overarching structure. The relationships and the narrative itself take on a whole new meaning with Radha as a guide through this universe. Radha highlights out how society treats women unfairly throughout her writings, and how women are often involved in the treatment they and other women experience. Moreover, despite her affection for Krishna since they were toddlers, she points out his flaws and criticizes the way he is brought up as the potential ruler. She commiserates with his wives, whom he abuses badly at times. Krishna, as seen through Radha’s eyes, becomes human, and his divinity fades away. While Krishna keeps breaking promises to return to Radha, she emerges as a strong woman capable of carving out a life for herself.

Mr. Paudyal feels that Radha belongs to “a Nepali school of critical thinking” that “says life is a leela – a theatre of illusions – as is the life of Krishna himself.” Mr. Paudyal is referring to the deconstruction of the Krishna myth in the book. While adhering to many of the traditional Krishna stories, the work gently questions those stories by its feminine perspective, sly language, and upending of the myth’s traditions. Those who are familiar with the Mahabharat will identify much of this subtle deception right away, while those who are new to the world may need to familiarize themselves with the original narrative.

Radha is a difficult work that will test readers on many levels. People who are familiar with the Krishna tale are encouraged to reconsider their perspectives. People who are unfamiliar with the Krishna narrative are invited to join a realm that may appear to be foreign to them. Dedicated readers, on the other hand, will discover a universality to the story that transcends the specific, as well as a narrative that questions the distinction between reality and illusion.

Binod Chaudhary An autobiography Book Review and Summary

Binod Chaudhary An autobiography Book Review and Summary
Book: Binod Chaudhary an Autobiography
Publisher ‏ : Nepalaya
Language ‏ : ‎Nepali
Pages: 352
Binod Chaudhary is a Nepalese businessman, industrialist, and philanthropist. He is the current chairman of Chaudhary Group (CG), a conglomerate that consists of nearly 80 companies. Chaudhary is also the first Nepali billionaire, as listed by Forbes. Besides business, Chaudhary has been involved in several other government and social sectors. He worked as a member of the constituent assembly and parliament of Nepal from April 2008 to May 2012. His CG Foundation works for social welfare and he often contributes in the areas of art, music, and literature as well.

Binod Chaudhary. 2015. Binod Chaudhary – My Story: From the Streets of Kathmandu to a Billion-Dollar Empire. Translated by Sanjeev Ghimire.

Kathmandu: nepa~laya.

Autobiographical books have emerged as a popular form in Nepali literary culture in the past several years. Considering that these were memoirs or autobiographies by journalists, TV personalities, army generals, business people, among others – faces that have had ample exposure in the popular media – these books have also been some of the more visible ones. To this cast of the enthusiastically promoted book, My Story by Binod Chaudhary, the business magnate and chairperson of the multinational conglomerate Chaudhary Group, is, therefore, a natural addition. Subtitled ‘From the streets of Kathmandu to a billion-dollar empire,’ suggesting a rags-to-riches story, this choice of subtitle for the English-language translation of the 2013 original âtmakathà might appear ironic for someone who was born into an already flourishing business family.But the irony is limited to the book’s exteriors. Chaudhary’s book is in fact an emphatically unironic account of what access to resources and influential connections can afford you.

Binod Chaudhary was born in 1955 in Kathmandu to a Marwari family who was among a group of trading families that migrated to Nepal from Rajasthan in the late 19th century. Having arrived in Nepal at the age of 20, Chaudhary’s grandfather Bhuramal Das had successfully managed a textile business by the 1930s. With Kathmandu’s aristocratic elite as the clientele, soon after the 1934 Nepal-Bihar earthquake, he had become the first individual in the country to start a formally registered clothing company. Tracing the roots of the family’s business conglomerate today known as Chaudhary Group to that beginning, Chaudhary writes that “the earthquake that shook Kathmandu to its foundations led to the foundation of the Chaudhary Group”.

Chaudhary’s father Lunkaran Das built on that foundation and expanded the family’s business beyond their popular textile store at Juddha Sadak in Kathmandu. After establishing international-trading houses and a construction company that won major contracts, in 1968, he also started a high-end retail store called Arun Emporium, which, according to the author, was also his father’s most successful enterprise. Like many young men from similar backgrounds who get their first professional experience running errands for the family business, Binod Chaudhary started out by helping his father at the Emporium, showing imported sarees to the affluent and nouveau-riche customers of Kathmandu.

But Chaudhary’s first independent business venture came in 1973: a discotheque called Copper Floor, which was one among many such clubs that were part of Kathmandu’s growing nightlife. In a chapter titled ‘The turning points,’ Chaudhary explains the origins of this enterprise, which he started in partnership with a Kathmandu hotelier named Kiran Sherchan. On making acquaintance with Sherchan, Chaudhary writes, “I started to adopt his ideas and mingle with his friends” – friends who also happened to be members of the social elite who “were close to the seat of power in one or the other way”, including the royal family. For the barely 20-year old, these new contacts, along with young tourists mostly from the West, formed a natural pool of disco patrons who were “eager to spend their money on a good night out”. Copper Floor was a success and thronged by some of the city’s rich and the powerful, a group whom Chaudhary learnt early on to seek out and cultivate relations with. This proximity to power is

a consistent motif in the book, especially when the author is writing about the crucial points of his career.

Inevitably, as an aspiring scion of a business family who was operating in Kathmandu’s narrow corridors of powers, Chaudhary came in working contact with the country’s political class. In 1979, Chaudhary landed a deal with the Japanese electronic firm National Panasonic – his first multinational collaboration – to import their parts to assemble and manufacture radios in Nepal. All he needed was a license from the government. Incidentally, around the same time, the then Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa had sought financial assistance from Chaudhary and his father, “to fund the campaign for the retention of Panchayat regime” in the impending

referendum between Panchayat system and multiparty democracy. They decided to support the campaign, and soon enough, Chaudhary received the license for the importation, as well as for two different enterprises he had been lobbying for.

But a sudden downfall of Thapa from the government ensured that Chaudhary had to look for new political patronage. He soon found that in Dhirendra Shah, King Birendra’s younger brother and an acquaintance from the Copper Floor days. With Shah as a business ally, who brought with him all the advantages and immunities that came with a royal background, Chaudhary

could successfully start several projects, including a steel plant, unimpeded. But once again, with the change in political guards following the 1990 popular movement for democracy, he built close links with the parliamentary parties. His proximity to the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leftist (CPN-UML) is particularly curious, which involved him working on their draft of economic policy in 1994 to being a member of the Constituent Assembly nominated by the party in 2008. Chaudhary calls himself “basically a non-political person” and more than once protests about getting caught in a web of political intrigue. But by his own account, these affinities with political actors appear to have been quite profitable for his business. For a book written by purportedly the most financially successful businessman in Nepal, however, it is rather sparse when it comes to explaining the strategic reason behind his entrepreneurial successes. To be sure, Chaudhary spends a good bulk of the book detailing numerous episodes of his accomplishments. But in most cases, all one can glean from the presented narrative is that having close business and personal ties to the right set of people gives you lasting dividends. This is true whether Chaudhary wants to start an instant-noodle manufacturing plant in Sikkim (India), attempts to retain his shares at Nabil Bank, or even make the government revoke its previous decision and award his firm a hydropower contract. Perhaps in response to this excess focus on personal connections, Chaudhary enumerates a few business ‘mantras’ in the manner of a self help business book. These include such gems as “Do not give in,” “Nothing

succeeds like success,” “Keep yourself updated,” and even the more prosaic ones like “Market astuteness” and “Cost cutting.” Significantly, even as Chaudhary notes in the book’s acknowledgement that this is also “Chaudhary Group’s autobiography [sic],” he forgets to address the role of other individuals who have made significant contribution to the enterprise. The most glaring of this omission involves his two siblings, Basant and Arun, who initiated and presently spearhead some of the important companies that fall under the Group. Since the book doesn’t clarify these internal divisions of control and ownership, it risks giving an exaggerated

picture of Chaudhary’s role in the Group. There are two notable exceptions to this absence of details on operations. First of this occurs during the “war of instant noodles” (p. 141), when the

entrance of several competitors slashed Chaudhary Group’s most famous product Wai Wai’s monopoly in the Nepali instant-noodle market. In response, the group launched their own set of publicity campaigns, highlighting their new prize schemes. More interestingly, the Group started producing brands of cheaper noodles – also called “fighter brands” – to compete with

those brands that had price advantage over Wai Wai. Another area where Chaudhary provides structural understanding of his business is in describing his foray into international investment. The existing laws in Nepal bar its citizens from investing abroad, but Chaudhary managed to employ a loophole in the laws which allowed a non-resident Nepali (NRN) – legally meaning any Nepali national who had lived outside the country for over 183 days in the last year – to make investments abroad.

Fortunately for him, there were no similar restrictions on Nepalis receiving shares of a foreign company. These facts allowed Chaudhary to start Singapore-based Cinnovation in 1990, the international wing of his business conglomerate. But the mode of investment was much different than before.


The new company followed the venture-capital model, where instead of directly investing their own capital, companies like Cinnovation would pool money from individuals and organizations who were promised high returns on their investment. All Chaudhary had to do was identify potential product and market, and find international companies willing to invest. It is through this mode of operation that Chaudhary Group has today made headways into a wide range of products and services that includes fast-moving consumer products, hotels, resorts, telecommunications, cement, etc. Still, most incidents Chaudhary recounts only serve to repeatedly establish the unsurprising fact that he is acquainted with the financial and political elite around the world. And so the readers have a chapter titled ‘World leaders and I,’ where the author moves from one famous person to another (all of them men), assuring the reader how much he admires them. Apart from signaling his preference for authoritarian neoliberals – the list includes Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mahathir bin Mohammad, Lee Kwan Yew, Narendra Modi – and being “emotionally involved” in the fate of the countries he invests in, the chapter achieves little. In a similar vein, his chapter on his interests – music, cinema and a “passion for automobiles” – show scant interest in giving his readers a glimpse of his inner life. Instead, the reader emerges with the knowledge that for someone with a resourceful background like Chaudhary’s, making amateur overtures on one’s hobbies – a music album, for instance – is that much more easier.

This ideology of networking permeates his views on raising his children too. Getting all three of his sons into the elite Doon boarding school in Dehradun, Chaudhary notes, was not only for education, but also for social networking – for “a network of contacts to lay the foundation for a

multinational company”.

The publishers of My Story claim that the book is an autobiography, but most of its formal indicators suggest that it is in fact a memoir – a distinction that seems to have been missed by similar autobiographical works in recent years. Aspects of purposeful research, such as attention to dates and chronology, are often missing. Chaudhary also forgets to give necessary contexts to sometimes disconnected series of anecdotes. In many recollections, instead of merely narrating the events from his memory in the usual first person, he provides a dramatic recreation – with direct speech from himself and others within quotes. This might convey the author’s healthy sense of memory, but for critical readers and potential researchers, such technique does little to establish the authorial credibility. But in a time where books have become another extension of the individual as a brand, such readers are perhaps not his primary audience. “I always find a way to get what I want,” Chaudhary coolly remarks at one point in the book.

By the end, one finds, the point has been adequately made.

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