Song Of The Soil


Author: Chuden Kabimo
Translated by Ajit Baral

9788189602154 | PB | pp. 202 | 2019 | Rachna Books & Publications

Song Of The Soil by Chuden Kabimo brings alive the story of the revolution for a separate state of Gorkhaland in the 1980s. Raising vital questions…

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On a day of earthquake and rain, a young man gets bad news. Ripden, his childhood friend, has been swept away by a landslide.

So he makes his way back to Malbung, the village of his birth.

The memories come rushing back. Of growing up together; the harsh teachers at school and playing truant; bullies and backyard fights. He remembers, also, the day they ran away from home to Lolay to find out about Ripden’s father, vanished years earlier in the revolution. There the pair meets Nasim, a man who spends his days breaking rocks by the riverside.

Nasim narrates to them an extraordinary tale from his younger days. Of himself and other child soldiers of the revolution; building pipe guns and homemade bombs; fighting pitched battles with the police; training in jungle camps and enduring drink-fuelled nighttime raids; witnessing a massacre in the town square; and suffering a final, unforgivable betrayal.

Set in the foothill town of Kalimpong in the Himalaya, Song of the Soil brings alive the story of the revolution for a separate state of Gorkhaland in the late 1980s. Clear-sightedly, it lays bare the many faces of violence. And in doing so, it asks the vital question: Who, ultimately, wins in a revolution–and who loses?

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Chuden Kabimo
Translator: Ajit Baral







Year of Publication:



Rachna Books & Publications





Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

A writer based in Kalimpong, India, Chuden Kabimo has received the Yuwa Sahitya Akademi Puraskar, an award given by the Indian government for the best book published in a given language, for a collection of short stories titled 86. Originally written in Nepali, Song of the Soil is his first novel.

An alumnus of the International Writing Program-2011, Iowa University, Ajit Baral is the author of The Lazy Conman and Other stories, Interviews Across Time and Space, and co-author of By the Way: Travels Through Nepal’s Conflict and Shaili Pustak, a Nepali style guide. He is the co-editor of an anthology of Nepali short stories in English, New Nepal, New Voices, and the editor of First Love, an anthology of memoirs. He is also the cofounder of FinePrint, a publishing house, and the director of the Nepal Literature Festival.


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