I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I first got into Kathmandu 13 years ago. There was a compulsion of survival. So I didn’t have a choice of choosing a job.
I started my career as a teacher like many others were doing, teaching English at different institutes. But the competition was so fierce that it was hard for me to survive without taking up another job apart from teaching. Now I did marketing and now I edited some unpublished magazines while continuing to teach in the morning.
There was no certainty in life and so there was no stability. And stability was not the thing I hankered about. I wanted to be a ‘thief cat’ who had tasted various things and who had a treasure of experiences and abundance of feelings. I liked diversity- I mean, diversity of activities.
Two incidents took place in 2007- one of them might have been ‘taking place’ for a long time without myself knowing. I mean I loved reading. My being socially introvert had edged me towards loving books. I read whatever my hands fell on- books written Nepali, Hindi or English or short stories, novels, essays or romance or contemporary or pornography. And I had a realization during the year that I wanted to be a writer. But that realization was not sudden. In fact, it was an enticing realization that had came into a shape gradually.
Another incident is that I happened to meet a publisher while I was enjoying being probably the greatest dabbler as I oscillated between uncertainty and instability. He had some people translate English books without getting permission from the writers or the original publishers and ignoring copyrights and publish it. (He still does the same job. The copyright act of Nepal!) He gave me a contract of two books as soon as we had been introduced- the biographies of Madam Curie and Galileo Galilee. The term was Rs. 10000 for two books and 10 free of cost copies.
My happiness knew no bound then. This was a new job for me (that is what I always wanted- newness, you see!). On the top, it gave me a chance to read books and besides, I could have my name printed in a book.
But the excitement shattered when I realized that the translation into Nepali from English was not as ‘rapid and easy’ as I had thought. Anyway, I translated four books for him (about two hundred thousand words). But he didn’t put my names in the last two books. The reason was that our relationship had already dampened.
And then a journalist of a famous daily paper put me to work. He was a clever person about not exploitative as the publisher had been. Though I worked very little for him, I had a great experience and know-hows from him.
I became a full-fledged translator only when a person named Robert, a German citizen contacted me with a job offer seeing my online profile. The job was huge and he was contacting me on the behalf of the University of Zurich. I translated about one million words into English for them in two years. During the two years I also enhanced my clientele, reaching out to other translation agencies and individuals. By and by, I quit my job as a teacher and have been working as a full time freelance Nepali translator.
So far, I have translated over three million words from English into Nepali and vice versa, I have provided over 1000 hours of interpretation services as a Nepali interpreter. I am a regular provider for over ten translation companies now. This list is growing up every day and I am excited about extending my relationship with new clients.