Pallo Ghar ko Jhyal

Pallo Ghar ko Jhyal
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Author: Govinda Bahadur Malla "Gothale"

Genre: Fiction

How often and to what extent has female sexuality been portrayed in Nepali novels? How many books have you encountered/read that dive into the psychological and sexual desires of women? In my opinion, Govinda Bahadur Malla “Gothale” was radical in writing this book “Pallo Ghar Ko Jhyal” during the 1960s, depicting a female protagonist torn between her moral responsibilities and unfulfilled sexual yearnings.

"Pallo Ghar ko Jhyal" tells the story of Mishri, a young Newari girl. During her extended stay at her parents' house, she encounters a young man named Hiraman who frequently visits his friend next door. Hiraman gets captivated by Mishri, and over time, she too becomes infatuated with him. Despite being married to a kind-hearted man named Hari Bhakta, Mishri's marriage lacks passion and excitement. Disappointed and yearning for more physical and emotional fulfillment, she finds herself deeply dissatisfied with her husband and desires something more. As Hiraman persistently pursues her, Mishri wrestles with guilt and internal conflict. She questions her own loyalty and grapples with her inner feelings. Caught in a dichotomy, she feels guilty at times while also justifying to herself that she has not done anything wrong, reminding herself that it is not her fault someone is pursuing her.

Upon Mishri's return to her husband's house, the situation intensifies as Hiraman continues his pursuit. He relentlessly sends her letters, demanding a response from her. Mishri finds herself caught between her moral values and her burgeoning sexual passion, facing a difficult internal struggle. Ultimately, Mishri reaches a decisive moment where she makes a choice!

Overall, “Pallo Ghar Jhyal” is a short and sweet read. I appreciate the writer for his insightful portrayal of female psychology. The vivid setting of the story allows readers to envision the scenario where the events unfold, including Mishri’s parents’ house, the presence of the next-door neighbor, and the exchanged gazes between Hiraman and Mishri. It should be the power of fiction for sure that I was able to delve into Mishri’s inner thoughts and struggles and view her character from a sense of empathy. As the story unfolded, I was invested in her journey, hoping that her ultimate decision would lead to her happiness.

I would highly recommend that you befriend Mishri and go along with her journey as you sit down with this book. If a physical copy of this book is not available to you, an audiobook narrated by Achyut Ghimire Bulbul in his enchanting voice is readily available on YouTube.

If you have already read or listened to this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I will “see” you in the next blog post!

Happy Reading! 😊