What is sex? It is easier understood than defined. But it has been one of the favored topics for the poets and philosophers since the ancient time. For eastern philosopher Batsyayan, sex is more important than religion or economy. It became a recurrent theme in literary discourses after Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud propounded a theory that psychoneurosis is a result of struggle of sex hormones stored in the unconscious level of human mind. According to him, sexual feelings guide the mental behavior of an individual. With the breakdown of social and moral taboos, sex is a prominent subject in literature wherein it is dealt with symbolically or explicitly.
Noted journalist and essayist Pramod Pradhan has come up with an innovative and bold idea of collecting stories that portray the sexual behaviours and mental perceptions of human beings. In Nepali Youn Katha, Pradhan has made a fine collection of 24 stories that deal with sex written by noted story-writers ranging from BP Koirala to Bhawani Bikshu to Sita Pandey.
The anthology includes some of the most popular sex stories in Nepali literature – Swait Bhairavi of BP Koirala, Yuvati ra Jarsaheb of Govinda Bahadur Malla Gothale, Meri Kanchhi Maiju of Ramesh Bikal, Ghorle of Poshan Pandey, Timri Swansi ra Ma of Manu Brajaki, Nani Amako Sul Manju Kanchuli and Juneli Ratko Draupati of Avinash Shrestha.
In Pipe, Bikshu describes about an illicit relation between two cousins. Their adultery does not come under suspicion because nobody thinks they – coming from the same family tree would do the unthinkable. Here is a girl, whose desire to have a new saree finally lands her in the bed of her uncle’s son. One day the girl sees him giving an attractive saree to his sister as a gift in Dashain. But, the shopping of her family includes only low quality clothes. He knows that she is craving for a beautiful dress. He assures her that he will bring an attractive saree for her. But, the day she receives it she gives in to his sexual desires. He establishes physical relation with her whenever he wants.
The girl wants to pursue higher study but her family can’t afford that partly because she has several siblings. She herself manages her education costs. Her parents are satisfied with her but do not bother about how she meets her heavy expenses. But, she has already become a prostitute in the city to meet all her costs. She shares this story to a client, who asks her how she, a member of a good family, joined the flesh trade. Her relation with the cousin just opens a door to her journey into a hidden world of sex. She says men and society are hypocritical: “When men share beds with us, it is not men but women, who are looked down upon. Society never points a finger at men no matter with how many women they establish physical relations.”
In Swait Bhairavi, BP Koirala, who has the credit of introducing the concept of Freudian psycho-analysis in the Nepalese literature, depicts a woman’s unfulfilled sexual desire. Faguni, a housemaid, is married but has not yet gone to her groom’s house. One day, she encounters an 11-year boy at the landlord’s home. As both talk about her martial life, she gradually turns wild like a ferocious goddess Bhairavai. Her suppressed sexual desire drives her insane. Like a roaring Koshi, she swoops down upon him but in vain. He is so terrified that he runs away to save himself from the clutches of Faguni.
In Juneli Ratko Draupati, a woman embarks on a journey to meet her husband, who lives abroad. But, on the way she meets some travelers and quenches her sexual desire with them and returns home.
All the stories in the book are interesting and provide substitute gratification to the readers. They are written within the boundary of human decency and do not hurt readers’ sensibility.