Wake Up Ali: New novel claims to honestly tell stories of South Asian migrants

Wake Up Ali...Wake Up Now by Sumit Sharma Sameer is launched in Kathmandu on Friday, August 12, 2022.
Wake Up Ali…Wake Up Now by Sumit Sharma Sameer is launched in Kathmandu on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Wake Up Ali…Wake Up Now, a novel by Sumit Sharma Sameer, was launched in Kathmandu on Friday (August 12) amid a function.

Author Sameer says his novel is the honest narrative of migrants from Nepal. “I wanted to communicate the stories of our time, the stories that I feel are important and need to be told. The stories of so many Alis have to be spelt out,” he says, “Migration has been a permanent feature since the advent of human civilisation. It got more accelerated during our age. That acceleration brought varied opportunities to humankind but yet dismantled the very fabrics of our lives. I had always wanted to write something on this very constructive and destructive process connecting South Asia into one thread that could help produce many other stories.”

Celebrated Nepali author Buddhisagar thinks the protagonist’s internal journey, self-exploration and realisation are three highlights of books. “The book is not merely about migration, but rather has a deep philosophical meaning.”

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Saguna Shah, author and founder of bOOkahOlics, says Wake Up Ali explores the human psychic by exploring the constraints of relationships and desires. “The content is far and beyond the concerns of migrant workers their status quo and their struggle in a foreign land, but also an internal journey of a protagonist. The book is about an awakening of the protagonist.”

Australian Ambassador to Nepal Felicity Volk says, “This is a migrant’s story from South Asia. The number of Nepali people migrating to South Asia has doubled in the last five years and I’m struck by how well the writer has depicted the migrant story. But, this is also a universal story, the story of each one of us. Each one of us is a traveller in our own struggle.”

Nepali Congress General Secretary GaganThapa says Wake Up Ali is a sociological fiction. “This is about social structure, human relationships and individual relationships to society. This is a story of migrants.”

The book was earlier published in Nepali under the title Prawas two years ago and has been translated by Sushrut Acharya into English.

The English version, Wake Up Ali…Wake Up Now, has been published in 2022 by Delhi-based Vitasta Publishing.

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