NEW YORK, NY - 05/01/2018 — Life is full of surprises. Life is a quest. In this pursuit, there are ups, and then there are downs. No matter the circumstances, all we can do as humans is continue with our lives regardless of the ordeals. We win sometimes, and we lose sometimes – but what makes us irrepressible is the fact that we are built to face any setbacks. The result might not always be favorable but the sole fact that we accept the challenge makes us winners. Kampan is a story of such an expedition. It is a story of hope, of comebacks, of loss, and of coming to terms with the most powerful of us all – Mother Nature.
April 25th, 2015 – the day that Mother Nature decided to show her wrath to the unsuspecting Nepali citizens. It was a day that changed the whole dynamics of the people of Nepal. A dark day, where thousands of people lost their lives, the earthquake of April 25th, 2015 is considered to be the most prominent scar on the exquisite Nepali land. In this book, Kishor Panthi shares raw, riveting true stories of people who experienced the seismic terror in different capacities and different settings; fear being the only common feeling between them. Their houses turned to debris, their beloveds’ lives were taken, they were afeard of the unknown, but the quilt of hope nourished their faith. The natural disaster made people realize the evanescent nature of life. Everything is fleeting, but the beauty of life is that it goes on. The author of Kampan emphasizes on the never-stopping attitude of time, and that it heals even if it hurts.
Kampan is a book written in spare and evocative vignettes. The specificity of this powerful book renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and tells the story of people who survive to triumph. The continuous jolts of the quakes and the aftershocks made life a nightmare for the Nepalis. They only have one option, to unite and fight the tribulations together. The terrifying tryst with nature leaves them vulnerable but they must make a decision – to risk everything to reclaim their lives. This decision enables them to form bonds that are stronger than the quakes ultimately preparing them to face life’s challenges head on. Kampan has stories that the readers will resonate with immediately. The stories might exhaust the readers in the beginning as the stories will take them back to those horrific days. However, as the book ends, the same stories will leave readers brimming with hope and motivation to do well in this once in a lifetime opportunity of being human.
Three years down the line, there are so many stories that remain unknown, but the stories in this book will reverberate and speak for those unheard stories. Kampan by Kishor Panthi is a confrontational book that aims to exhilarate you, fill you in on the lives of the affected, and in doing so, will make sure to act as a ray of hope for the despairing hearts. In the writer’s own words, “Writing this book was a no mean feat.” He was in New York when the first earthquake ruthlessly shattered many Nepali lives. Panthi ensuring that his family was unaffected boarded the next flight to Nepal to be of help to those in need. He traveled to the most affected areas as a volunteer. Kampan is a compilation of stories of the people he met with during this trip of providing salvation.
Panthi compares the citizens of Nepal to a Phoenix. By ancient definition, the Phoenix was known as a mythical creature of indestructible wonder. In more modern terminology, it describes a posture of unshakeable resolve and determination. If there was ever a time for us to be determined and optimistic, it is now. Says he, “Writing Kampan was a cathartic experience, not necessarily a pleasant one. The people I met and the stories I heard made the process uneasy, only because their pain was indescribable. But as I penned the stories that I was told, I came face-to-face with a surreal realization of hope being the most powerful embodiment of survivors. The undying want to see tomorrow despite going through so much and the unmatched stirrings of achieving happiness inspired me. I hope the stories inspire you to hope for the better too.” Kampan will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding and accepting challenges, and taking each day as it comes despite the sufferings.
Kampan was recently launched by two former prime ministers of Nepal – Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal. The book is now available in Nepali, and will soon be published in English for the readers who are interested in experiencing a gamut of stories through the survivors’ eyes, compelling them to march forward with hearts full of hope.
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