Rediscovering a Himalayan Tragedy

Once upon a time there lived a poor peasant farmer and his homely wife, infant son and pretty younger sister. They hoed and sowed all day, every day, to feed their bellies, save money for the sister's dowry and earn enough for new clothes once a year. But implacable Fate played tricks on them. Usurious moneylenders fleeced the farmer of his land and house. A jive-talking soldier ravished the virginal sister. Destitute and socially shunned, the family fled their home village.

So goes and ends Lil Bahadur Chettri's brief but unflinching 1957 Nepali fable...

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