Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nepali Literature Sans Center



Nepali language and script have always been surrounded by controversies. The first literature in Nepali language is considered to be ‘Baaj Parikshya’ written around 1700 BS which is conflicting in itself. Though the historical evidences depict that Nepali language is derived from ‘sinjali’, it was also not in the Nepali form initially; it was in ‘khas’. Its region of birth is Jumla from where it got propagated all over. Research has excavated copperplates and some folk songs of that time, written in 1393 BS. Moreover, Nepali language used to be written in ‘kalaukshyari’ script which afterwards was slowly replaced by Hindi script ‘devanagari’ because of the people who went to Banaras to study. The ‘devanagari’ script which we use today is a progeny of ‘brahmi’ script. Therefore, even if ‘khas’ is accepted to be the mother of Nepali language, some facts indicate that though ‘khas’ exists in history, it didn’t fall into a scriptural group that is proven by the non-scriptural names they used like ‘krachalla’, ‘chapilla’, ‘chap’, etc. Thus, researchers claim Nepali language to be independent of ‘khas’ language.


Current debate

Nevertheless, there are plenty of such arguments regarding Nepali language and presently, another topic that has heated the debate table is about the center of Nepali language. Nepali students who went to Banaras to study then, influenced by Hindi and Sanskrit literature, established the press culture of Nepali literature - many years before and after Bhanubhakta’s ‘Ramayan’, no substitute of Banaras could be seen. Above this, the literary movement initiated by Motiram Bhatta fueled its momentum to a phenomenal extent. Later, because of a more educated class living in Darjelling and Pastor Gangalal Pradhan’s translation of Bible into Nepali followed by activities of ‘SuDhaPa’ slowly shifted the command of Nepali literature to Darjelling. Balkrishna Sama hence could say without hesitation, "What Darjelling thinks today, Nepal thinks it tomorrow" but the end of Rana regime, rapid literacy awareness in Nepal and the dignity of capital city finally transformed Kathmandu as the center of Nepali literature. The era after this transformation gradually increased the number of writers focusing on the centralised system of state governance that established Kathmandu as the only center of Nepali literature and the fertile land for writers in the coming several decades.


Literature from diasporas

But today Nepali literature has crossed the geographical boundary and has established itself as a language spoken and written in almost every continent of the world. If we calculate the number of magazines and books published in Kathmandu in Nepali language, it’s just 10 per cent of what is published around the globe. In this estimate, north-eastern states of India alone cross the count of the overall books and magazines published in Kathmandu. What about the publications in other Asian countries along with Europe, America and Australia? Presently, after Africa joined this bandwagon and because of the excessive use and easy access to Internet, the focal point of Nepali literature has been completely upset.
This interpretation has practically been justified even more after Tribhuwan Univesity, realising the importance of Nepali literature produced by the diasporas, recently decided to start its study incorporating two Nepali novels, one from Hong Kong and the other from United States, into its Masters level curriculum. From the coming academic session, these novels will be studied as the 9th Paper Nepali literature course namely under ‘Diasporic Studies’ in the Humanities and Social Science faculty. All these amendments indicate that Nepali literature is now going beyond borders and the conventional notion of regarding Nepali literature from the diasporas qualitatively low has been defeated, giving rise to a new philosophy that seriously needs to be contemplated in the days to come if we want to understand Nepali literature more sincerely and accurately.


Off the Center

Kathmandu, after reigning for ages, has now no hold over the dominion of Nepali literature. And also the fact that Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal doesn’t necessarily validate that the bridle of Nepali language and literature should also be in its hands because a lot of Nepali language speakers are now living in diasporas. This reality of Nepali literature should be realised properly by the ones ensconced inside this bowl of Kathmandu valley rather than the writers outside.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

my blog

world of random thoughts, i reflect
amid chaos, my contemplation
vague and irrational
words drop but by a hair's breadth
without rules, without borders
stirring an uneven stillness
and silently surpassing
my refraction of life
to a resurrection.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Worlds Apart



I met him at a roadside tea junction of New Bus Park where he and his mates, in the biting cold of January, were trying to fit themselves inside an old jute sack. I and a friend, after the hangover of exams had started out at that solitary hour of night just to relish a cup of tea and cigarettes. The whole world was asleep and the only hope of slaking our nicotine dosage was that hubbub of bus terminal. We ordered a cup of tea each and started making clouds of smoke.

My eyes wandering slowly to the activity of the place stopped at these small kids covered under a rag. Altogether three in number, two were in deep sleep while the third was struggling to find his space. The dew drops hitting their rugged face from the branches of the tree they had chosen as shelter were left unnoticed. But this very struggler was sprawling with discomfort as the cold wind peeping through his torn shirt was making him tougher every minute. With sympathy, I lent him a voice. It went unheard. I made a louder try. His ears, hard of hearing humble voices, first were confused at my call but my gestures finally fetched him to us.

“Do you want some tea?” my friend asked.

“Yes,” he said, without much hesitation.

We ordered the tea-shop Didi another cup of tea. Looking at us, she giggled but again set her hands busy on the stove.

“Boy, where are you from?” I voiced my curiosity.

“Jhapa.” His answer dropped.

“Where from Jhapa?” My friend added since he also hailed from the same place.

“Sitaganj.” He answered with bigger amplitude.

“How have you come here?”

“By bus.” His straight reply annoyed my friend.

“I know that… I mean why did you come here?”

He kept quiet for sometime as if he was thinking something but my sound broke his meditation.

“Tell me boy.” I caught his hand and brought him close.

He grew restless and trying to free from my grip, snapped, “It’s none of your concern.”

“Is this the way you talk to your elders?” My friend gave a hint of his changing mood.

“If not this, teach me how… I… I have left my home.” His assertive answer came as expected.

The tea was ready and Didi handed three cups to us. We pointed one towards our guest. No sooner did the cup touch his grubby fingers, he hurried up and bounded straight for his habitat. We watched how he went near to his sleeping friends and woke them up. Instead of having the tea by himself, he gave it to his friends. They finished it in the wink of an eye leaving the cup empty for the boy to deliver back, and they took to their sleeping caps again. He returned sad, but satisfied. I was surprised at this humility of our gentleman.

“Are they your friends?” I tried to clear my doubt.

“No, they are my brothers.” He chuckled.

“Are they your own?” I again inquired.

“No, but does it make any difference?” He retorted back.

“Then why did you let them have your tea?” My friend asked.

“Because they are my brothers.”

His words of wisdom left us dumb-founded. We hadn’t finished our tea yet. He started staring at us with his blank yet innocent eyes. I again ordered for another cup of tea.

“You are having it alone this time, understood?” My friend’s command bumped.

He nodded but angrily. Suddenly everyone’s attention converged to the sharp siren of the police van patrolling on the road until the sound faded away. The tea was ready but this time, Didi handed it directly to the boy and looking at us, giggled again. We started our second cigarette and the boy, looking at me asked for one.

“Do you smoke?” I expressed my surprise.

“Yes, nicely! Give one and I’ll teach you.” His sharp delivery came again.

“How old are you?”

“Twelve,” he said, hesitantly this time.

 “Don’t you know smoking is bad?” I tried some moral classes on him.

“Then why do you? If you can, I also can.” He threw his swift piece of wit.

Instead of being angry, we started laughing at his words. As we were feeling hungry, we ordered for boiled eggs. “For me also,” he quickly said. Didi understood, and she finally opened her mouth, “These rogues are like this only. Give them an inch and they will ask for an ell.”

“Why did you run away from your house? Don’t you have anyone there?” I resumed the conversation.

“Yes, I have a father but also a step-mother. My mother left me some two years ago when my alcoholic father one day beat her to death and….” He now gradually got comfortable with our queries. He paused for a moment and again continued.

“…and next day, he brought another woman home. She used to scold me, beat me and didn’t feed me for days. When I reported this to my father, he also in return thrashed me. This continued for months and one day, I managed to escape from that hell. I boarded a bus from Damak not knowing where it was for and finally arrived Kathmandu.” I could see the sadness in his eyes and hatred in his tone as he was narrating this.

“So, how did you meet your friends… I mean… your brothers?”

“I arrived here in the morning, hungry and tired. I was wandering here and there when they spotted me. Knowing I was hungry, they shared their stuffs with me and from that day, they are my brothers.” He was a different person now.

“So what do you do to make your living?”

“We collect plastics, and transport it to the factories. They give us… “

“Brother, here are your eggs.” Didi’s voice punctuated his sentence.

As soon as he got his share of egg, he again ran to his friends. After a while, we could see silhouette of three figures enjoying their dinner happily under the shade of cold night. Another minute, on hearing some voices approaching them, our boy with his siblings grabbed the rag and took to their heels. On our turning back, we found two policemen poking a nearby vendor. After Didi explained it to us, we came to know that they had come there to claim their share of night business. The children ran away because the men in uniforms harass and beat them.

Till then, our gentleman was out of sight but his vacant eyes kept asking me, “Do we share the same world?”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nepal Bandh Frenzy and the Pollution

(This article was published in 2002 in 'SATHI' but looks relevant even today.)

      Time was when ‘Nepal Bandh’ was regarded a pollution but now, it has itself become an agent of reducing pollution; it was then a crucial issue for the social life and economy of the state but at present, it has become ‘mushrooms after the rain’ that people have become used to it; it was for a reason before but today, the reason has been replaced by opportunity.
      Talking about Kathmandu, running such ‘bandhs’ has atleast helped in reducing the pollution to some extent knowing that we can’t do away with it completely. ‘Nepal Bandh’ of course hampers the economy but unknowingly, it has assisted somewhat these days. The major finances done in environmental projects can be cut and used somewhere else.
      ‘Bandh’ simply is not good but as every coin has two faces, it also has both merits and demerits but the most depressing factor is that it has demerits more than merits. Should the pollution caused by smokes and busy traffic be overshadowed for an instant, there is this foul pollution of politics nurturing behind the curtain, which is far more dangerous than the impact caused due to the environment pollution.
      Be it air pollution or political pollution, both are harmful from every isometric, and the losses borne are by us. The governing bodies of the state should have taken initiatives such that neither we suffer from the adverse effects of ecological disorder nor from the pungent fumes of the pinchbeck pseudo-politics, but there is where lies our pride in being citizen of a helpless governing system. The main reason for ‘Nepal Bandh’ has major offenses to political parties, who declare themselves right and powerful, even though the war they are crackling is in the course of annihilation. The antecedence of this terror dates back to the history of unstable political scenario of Nepal. The Maoists, what we call now, emerged as a result of its suffocation. And every credit goes to the power holders, who are themselves walking on the wrong side of the lane making iniquitous use of law or by enforcing constitution in favour of their insane demands.
      After this, comes minority aggression to the factor like price hike of petroleum products, due to which bus syndicators and vehicle associative become fury and as a result, demand decrement in price or opt in increasing fares. Ultimately, the one crushed under the grindstone of this ordeal is the general populace. Then, those frantic people enter into the battlefield backed by the selfishness of some chance-seeker political parties and thus this war to nowhere goes on and on. Furthermore, unanticipated increment in school/college fees also results in ‘Nepal Bandh’. Be it in the name of serving students or general public, the parties go on protests and strikes only to enhance their political career and make their wants fulfilled that later is coined in as their humanitarian task. And also these ‘bandhs’ are truly encouraged by the visiting students, who are pleased in getting time to kill time. There is no underlying principle for ‘Nepal Bandh’. A ruling party leader slips his tongue and next day will be marked ‘bandh’ by the opposition, a crook journalist gets caught and their association calls for a ‘bandh’ to set him free. A corrupt leader is questioned for his adulteration and his partisans demand for apologies- one out of many with a ‘bandh’. This is what is happening since a long time and still if the higher bodies remain voiceless, then surely a day is inevitable when Nepal will be suffixed by ‘bandh’ and will be replaced by ‘Nepal Bandh’, in a sense that a country named Nepal doesn’t exist, it’s closed (bandh!!). Isn't it better to die than to extinct?
      But, how are the people going to claim their existence here? Simple. As the country has a glorious blood-shed history, Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ has been time and again proved successful, and so will in future. Evil pollution goes on as a vicious circle and the serene eyes have no vigour to argue anymore. So easy in itself, ‘Nepal Bandh’ is the tragedic misuse of power and democracy. Simply, anyone can run ‘Nepal Bandh’ because people never complain and their silence is understood as their approval, they are so timid that these ‘bandhs’ most of time go successful. It has become like a power-demonstration campaign for all the concerned parties as if the more number of ‘bandhs’ they do, the more powerful they are to be called. In this perpetual race for power and position, eventually those under the debris are always the poor.
      Pollution should be eradicated, not merely by ostentation of power but by a unanimous consensus between the authorities and masses. But, I personally feel that there should be more ‘Nepal Bandhs’ so that the people here always ramble around or below the poverty line and remain the same ignorant, illiterate, indigent ‘Nepali’ – a characteristic that has helped world identify a Nepali… At no cost can we risk this identity. Happy Nepal Bandh!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crossing Borders



Last week I got to peek through the pages of ‘Mother’ again, a work by Russian novelist Maxim Gorky that changed the ideologies of many people around the world. This revolutionary novel depicting the story of a rebel during the time of the Russian revolution carried the history of Russia across the globe after being translated into many different languages. Like Gorky, many other Russian writers of that time — Dostoevsky, Gogol and Tolstoy — won international fame through their writings. Similarly, Hindi, German, Chinese and many other authors have been successful internationally.


In Nepal, the literary pieces of Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Parijat, Bhupi Sherchan, Gopal Prasad Rimal and others are forever remembered with reverence. But, compared to world literature, Nepali literature is yet to find its international readership.

Here comes a question: why is this so? Have we ever thought of how Russian and other literatures were able to keep such a significant mark in world literature?

It is not only because those works were good pieces of literature. Rather, one of the reasons for their broad international fame was because they were translated into many world languages including English. Translation into many languages made it possible for them to take their place in libraries around the world, helping people to read and understand them.

Translations not only help literature cross borders, it also helps writers survive. Diamond Shamsher Rana’s ‘Seto Bagh’, translated into English as ‘White Tiger’, is one example. In one of Rana’s interviews, he has revealed the fact that his ends, so far, are met by the royalties of ‘White Tiger’, published by a British publication decades ago.

Contrarily, a few Nepali literatures have been given the opportunity to be translated into English, like Parijat’s ‘Shirish Ko Phool,’ which is now incorporated into the curriculum of some US universities. Recently, Ramesh Vikal’s ‘Awiral Bagdacha Indrawati’ earned the honour of being the only Nepali literary work to get a place in the Cultural Endowment Project, formed by a committee of US Senators dedicated to translating popular literature of the world. There are still many other great Nepali literatures, like Madan Mani Dixit’s ‘Madhavi’, waiting to come out of the wrapping to reserve a space in world literature.

For every country, its language, culture and literature hold its identity. Literature reflects the social order and practices of an era and transmits that to its readers. If Bhanubhakta had not translated ‘Ramayan’ into Nepali, many of us still would not have known the great epic and the time of that era.

Promoting the culture, language and literature of a country for its broader readership is the responsibility of the state. But unfortunately, enough work has not been done by the sector responsible for looking after literature and culture. It seems the culture of sycophancy has plagued every section of Nepali society. Even for the promotion of Nepali literature, politics plays decisive role. Still, academicians are politically appointed. The centre lacks the zeal to promote Nepali literature in the world. Whatever few translations have been done so far is only because of the self-initiatives of the writers and self-proclaimed translators.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

Dear Positive,
      You had been complaining of my letters all the time and I always took it as your suggestions. You had been telling me how badly I write and I acknowledged it as an inspiration. You had been grumbling on how I had changed all those years and I anticipated it as your verdict. Your biting words sometimes discouraged me but again, I saw wisdom in your rebukes. Your cold spoofs often hurt the small ambitions inside me but the very next minute, I sensed knowledge in your bitterness. After all, it was you who told me to do so.
      You had been grousing of how I got on my nerves quickly and only if you could have understood, it was all because of the solitary disorder. Your cutting words often heated my temperament but again, I comprehended the process to be physiological and became ice. When you dragged me by the lane of abuse, I understood it as the freedom that you use. I remember the day you handed me a paper of separation to get signed and I duly did it thinking you had given me a freedom to write.
      With furling of every season, I embraced the decision you lodged on me to be what I am not. With the curl of years, I clinched the inner-self in you regardless of my being what I really am. With fold of every morning, I induced the ‘what-I-want’ in you irrespective of what I always wanted. After all these years, you have still been grudging at my smile and here I cry not because you want it but because my eyes have been straining for quite sometime now.
Yours,
Negative

Monday, March 1, 2010

Some Poetries-V

When trees of survival start lamenting
Over the pathetic failure of reasons
Tanned beliefs start weaving young reveries again
The old verves start measuring the unexplored paths
I am lying here still, and destination peeping at horizon.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Faith smeared with shades of fear
Desires tarnished with tints of despair
Colours, you couldn’t paint my aspiration
And happiness, you disguise in black.
------------------------------------------------------------------ 
When the emptiness in eyes stare at hopes
When skinny belly stretches against poverty
When mud begrimed faces make its gesture
The dark lines of sorrow covering their wrinkled smile
Tell the taunting tale of civilization.
------------------------------------------------------------------ 
Unable to hold the load of corroded thoughts
Dreams like autumn leaves are falling down
Rotten ethics eaten by the worms of debacle
Are peeping from the holes in my pocket
The once upheaval of principles insane
Is quietly attacking my existence today.
------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lost on the way...

Words seized, and mouths stitched
Hopes burnt, and hands fettered                
Has democracy been redeemed?            
Has revolution been justified?                  

Old mind, and outdated thoughts              
All is new to eyes that never opened      
Priceless gifts of treachery and turmoil 
The never-ending list of martyrs.                

Terror and threat, rebuke and retreat       
Spinning chairs on spine of skeletals
Suffocated by the whiff of gunpowder        
Flowers die before their dreams bloom    

Hapless state, and a helpless situation     
Where intimidation is independence       
When ego of power bull bumps               
Crushed are the hopes of poor folks       

Reconstruction and reformation                 
Have bullets ever built a castle?                
To the road of drafting new rules                
Lost are the architects on the way. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Talking To My Loneliness

      I was captivated in your solitary world the day my destiny freed me from its extravagance. Frustrations and failures, sorrows and sufferings, medicines and meditations followed then. Thank you so much for your arrival in me, for the way you have walked beside me all these 15 months. The instigation of your coming into my life was more of an obligation than a relevance that later transformed into an inclination. I hate to think that you were with me but still I thank you for all that you have explored inside me and taken it out in one or the other form. I never was a thoughtful person and never was an introvert but because of the brunt of your cold isolation, I was able to indulge myself into my not being. I started writing just for the sake of writing (not good though and neither for good but still content). I started looking everyone with skeptical eyes which I think I should have done long before. I became too selfish suddenly and I am very happy to be. I finally could see that I had a family, and many regrets to the past. I stopped drinking but started profuse smoking just to overlook your presence. I could finally see the specks of dust layered on the books of my shelf, my good old friends who were sleeping unnoticed in hope of my revival one day. Thank you so much Camus and Kafka, Gorky and Dostoevsky for waiting me all these years.
      I hate to think that you were with me but I confess that I had started liking you. I tried to avoid you by diverting myself to some abstract paintings hung on the walls of my room but you were there also, telling me off from inside the frames. I tried to ignore you by busying myself on the clicks of google and facebook but my slow ADSL connection didn’t allow it again, kudos to Nepal Telecom. There were times when suicidal tendency evoked me but then you were there again to convince me a big ‘no’. The DVD’s of Visual Studio and SQL Server lying in the cabinet were laughing at the dreams of an unsuccessful software engineer. My HP Notebook could hardly give a break from your company nor could the old melodies stored on the chip of my new Corby Pro. The vacant face of letters marked on the heaps of certificates and achievements I had once earned were laughing at a loser’s defeat and only you comforted me of the loss I had incurred. You were always vigilant on your duty. At all these times, only a thing that could keep you free from me was my Alvanz Guitar but it wasn’t meant for all day and long, again you were there clasping me with your intangible claws. I many times had tried to free myself from your mean quietness but was left with an unusual submission. You didn’t leave me, not even when I was talking to her. Some translations and articles kept me away from you for a time being but at the end of the day, you were standing there tall again with your insane smile making me uncomfortable and irritable. With you by my side, I was never alone.
      After all this, I now think that your arrival in my life was for a reason. Though you have changed me completely, more badly from surface but meaningful and fruitful beneath, your loudness was never inaudible, your harshness was always filled with learning. You have taught me to live once again and spread the wings of hopes. The sleepless nights you gifted me nevertheless loaded dreams in me. You gave irritations, frustrations and negations only to experience and overcome it. Now I am free from all those psychosomatic elements disturbing me now and then and want you to be with me forever but unfortunately you also are not there anymore, leaving me behind with my purpose only. I am now trying to pull out all the stops to reach it.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stages of Life

Stage I (HOPE)
A seedling once thrown carelessly
After thousands of years
Sprouted into a beautiful plant
Where pleasant flowers of my dreams
Bloomed like I'd yearned for so long.

Stage II (STRUGGLE)
The yacht of life flowing random
With uneven tides of thunderstorm
The dark night engulfing
My destination with its fiery convolutions
Finally reaching the shores of void.

Stage III (EXISTENCE)
The heat of battlefield
After a long war
Still breathes the cool air of peace
Besieged long before
With hopes alive though.

Stage IV (END)
Life is very short
Whispered that old tree standing
Aimlessly for thousands of years
One day, it fell down
Really! Life's too short
Like my unfurnished dreams.

(These pieces of poetries have already been published independently. I just compiled them to make a meaningful single.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Guide: Revisited


I was wandering through the narrow lanes of Bagbazar (and dirty obviously) when a sadhu gesticulating his weird demeanours came towards me. I was afraid to confront his eyes because I was told that they rob you of all your senses but fortunately, the sadhu went passed by me and it was when I sighed a breath of relief. A little far, I was encirlced by a queer feeling of how these sadhus had been in their childhood and adolescent days. Were they sadhus by birth or some hefty circumstances triggered this spiritual transformation? And yes, I remembered the railway guide, Raju.
I found the answer in the review of TIME which read, “The Guide floats as gently as a lily pad on the surface of Indian life and yet suggests the depth beneath. It manages to describe a saint who is neither born nor made but simply happens, almost like the weather.” It was only last weekend while removing some old papers I happened to get sight of the 39th reprint of my long lost reading ‘The Guide’. I don’t pretty remember the number of times I have read this book but I can definitely tell that I have watched it only once and that also many years before during my stay in India when the only channel of the time, Doordarshan-I had aired it in its weekly dose of movies. At that time, I didn’t know that this 1965 blockbuster was based on R.K. Narayan’s award-winning novel. I got the original script only ten years after, when I happened to find a road-side second hand(more correctly, third hand) book vendor put it under a stack of old magazines on the streets of New Road.
                ‘The Guide’ received the Sahitya Academy Award in 1961 and four years later, ‘Guide’ bagged seven filmfare awards. The critically acclaimed novel with its excellence is a magnum opus in the world of literature and Guide, a movie of its kind, is a masterpiece of the Indian film industry. The introduction published in the 1994 reprint explains the greatness of this brilliant work of art. The railway Raju is a disarmingly corrupt tourist guide who lives by his wits and falls in love with a beautiful dancer. More by chance than skill, he seduces her away from her husband, a lonely writer who is obsessed with local rock-carvings, and transforms her into a celebrity courted by wealthy and influential dignitaries wherever she performs. Raju makes and loses a fortune, finds himself in jail, and – through a series of hilarious, ironic circumstances – becomes one of India’s great holy men. The history of his success and unexpected fame has all the excitement of a suspense story, told with Narayan’s customary tolerance and delightful humour. At the same time, it raises many profound and disturbing questions. These contrasting textures of human nature have been brilliantly portrayed in the visual rendition of the novel and the justice given by Dev Anand to R.K. Narayan’s character has been complemented by the soothing melody of S.D. Burman which still leaves us sing along the libretto of Shailendra.
Even after 50 years of its first publication, ‘The Guide’ is still new in its form and The New York Times Book Review then thus had some verses of appreciation in store for this opus- “The latest of R.K. Narayan’s pensive comedies is a brilliant accomplishment… In the first pages of The Guide, we recognize the charity, the unstartled comprehension, and we settle down to a gracious but knowledgeable evening.”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the year 1985…

I have been grumbling in my writings for quite some time now and it seems to have made me look cynical towards life, towards what I write. Changing the course of letters this time, I hope I won’t sound judgmental. Time and again, the best chapters of bygone days, nostalgia has attacked me hauling me to a period of time when all the hoof marks of memory appear vague. Even the chronicles of those periods have been flushed out of my head but this is one of that can never be over and done, this is my story of first love. Having passed the entry exam, I had just been admitted to Montessori One in Holy Cross School. It was back in 1985 and I was just three years old. Her name was Sushmita Mukherjee, a beautiful Bengali girl and I was her proud class mate. I don’t remember so much of other things, but the break time was when our love would take its deeper roots. It was the time when she always used to share her tiffin with me and many times, my parents had caught her feeding me with her hand. Our love bloomed in a childish innocence; her love, true like a dream and my falling for her as natural as a breeze. It was more of an acquaintance in the clear which my family making fun of me later had translated as love. Love it was indeed and intimacy but of our purity, of our simplicity, and of our juvenile affinity. I don’t have any idea of where and what she must be doing now. After completing our Montessori, she left for some other part of India and I joined St. Thomas. We have never seen or talked to each other since. Of an age that nothing can be recalled, I still remember her chubby face smiling at me and her handful of morsel moving towards me. Years have gone by and life has put us to different edges; many things have changed and many forgotten but still when I have to think of her, a blur image clearly shines on my mind and I hear Tim McGraw singing-
“I worked so hard for that first kiss
And a heart don’t forget something like that

Like an old photograph
Time can make a feeling fade
But the memory of a first love
Never fades away.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Writer's Perturbation

After years of scribbling in a scrap and throwing it in the trash, I don’t know why I have still been writing.  The trash can is full of my aggravation, my failure; even the recycle bin of my conscience cannot salvage my humility. But I still write with a hope that one day I won’t have any chip on my shoulder. My perception of writing is against those factors that babble insignificant stories of the social order. My norm of writing has an association with the progression and pragmatism of society and life. My impression of writing is a demarcation between the upper crust and the subjugated class.  My reflection of writing has a message, a story to tell of the everyday life. These must perhaps be the reasons why my writing breathes its life only in a litter. My pen never belched out the ink of treachery, my brush never stroke the contours of deception, the verdict of my principles never allowed me to haggle for pleasures and my writing always followed the esteem of my being. I was never taught to write for penny, power or praise unless it is compassionate to the sentiments of the laypeople. I won’t trade it against a meagre lump of comfort no matter how long these contaminated feelings transport my letters to a stack of garbage. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

Complaints Unjustified...

Though we Nepalis till now have adequately learnt to deal with every problems, we still can’t remain without grudging. Why do we forget that we are one of the world’s poorest countries? There were many complaints registered in his psyche overnight.  The load-shedding snag, the mobile network, bad roads, traffic mismanagement, increasing population, disturbing pollution, political instability, corruption, worsened educational sector, no employment, price-hike, no social security, growing criminal activities, and the list went on till he finally concluded with nothing going right. It was the day of his flight. He flew away with a new hope to a nation where such complaints sounded like a myth leaving behind a helpless nation of his belief which he thought would never prosper in any way and even if it does, it would take hundreds of years. Salute to his thoughts of finding all the odds he found in Nepal met in that foreign land though he didn’t care to work there as a substandard labour (even if it is believed that work is never small but not for Nepali mentality).
A year passed by and one day he called me up. “It’s very hard to work here, no night, no day. Though the problems and scarcities we face in Nepal sounds like an illusory tale here but whatsoever they say, our country is ours. We can never be a friend to this nation.” I never heard from him since that day. One day, a news broke into my ears. He has been diagnosed with cancer, a throat cancer. He has returned from Australia and has been admitted to the Bharatpur Medical Hospital. I was wondering how he got affected to the throat after all he was never into smoking or something that disturbed his wind-pipe. This was my presumption but the reality was in itself perilous.
I ran to see him. His once cheerful face hid behind the quilt of agony clearly exhibited the dark lines of sorrow and tanned marks of hopelessness. “When did you return? You didn’t inform me! Everything will go fine, don’t worry.” No sooner had I said this, he started crying bitterly. His swollen eyes clearly depicted the frequencies of his cries. Seeing him, my tears also couldn’t stop its way. He had gone too feeble and his hope of conquering every odds now seemed like a fairy tale to me. He is fighting for his life, for his existence in the darkness of this helpless nation.
I pray for his better health (if possible in any case) and wish he gets enough strength to fight with the ailment; who knows if a miracle happens!