Raja Puniani

[Translated from Nepali by Dr. Sarita Sharma]


It was in the year when

the mud was fully satiated

that the seeds had transformed into

tall trees of despair!


the barren land now gazes

with arid eyes

at the hushed path through which rain would arrive!


where every other thing has an edge

rivers roads clothes faces thoughts weapons

sandals spade sickle stove weed chapati blanket dreams

is exactly the place where a market thrives

of thirst!


this is not to conclude anything

time also has an edge

and it is on that edge

where there is a dense tree

that the desperate one sits under the dark shade

and thaws himself in the pools of the sky

pummelling it with an uninterested palm!


he gulps down a palmfull of sky

one more

some more

yet remains parched like the kakakuli!*


crossing over the geographical barriers

marches a thick mas of thirst

on the flag

the image of a combat bird beating its wings like fire

the cavalcade is subjugated

tear gas bullets

the force of domination

was no less an abettor to the flame of suppressed anguish!


this is not about others

it is about you about me about us!


dumb some voluble some

falling some standing some

knowingly or unknowingly

what actually are we sowing here?


o look

at fire sprouting

tearing the seed’s flesh apart!


just like the fairy tales of yore

our desire to consummate change

should have matured by now!


yes our battle has begun

we are just waiting for the beagle to sound

waiting with news eager ears

in reality the circle of dying and killing

has continued unabated since

long long ago!


the tottering generation had vowed


eons ago

one voice

one vision


the nameless lost generation

calls out to the person floating on time’s edges

you float down the river of struggles

the ocean of fulfilment shall stream to meet you

enfold you within itself

up and above!


it is exactly now that

our haste our wars

like the combatant Phoenix

plunges in and out of fire

now dead now reborn

fly over the burning kop of Kanchenjunga


beware Phoenix

the traitorous sky lynches at your wings!


(Kakakuli Mythical bird which is supposed to remain thirsty despite drinking any amount of water)