un-playing football

My school was atop a hill. ‘A mighty king’ they said- was stationed there, once upon a time. He dug trenches to hide his forces. And then, in the dark of the night, he attacked un-mighty kings, in a show of force.

I never really understood this, but he was mighty I was told. I did not question it.

And this hill was covered with pine trees that reached to scratch the cloudy sky. The ground was covered with Pine leaves. Pine leaves are beautiful. I had never seen leaves like that. But they were leaves alright, my science teacher said. “They are special, they serve a purpose.”

This, I understood. 

It was okay to be a leaf that looked like a needle. In fact, it was special to a leaf that didn’t look like one. My strategy professor would call in competitive advantage, I should ask him sometimes.  

Our school was atop a hill, nestled in a pine forest. The top was leveled because of the boys and the girls who needed a ground to play. The ground was on the edge, therefore the ball would roll down the hill after every powerful kick. Some boys were really good at those- the powerful kicks.

The ball would bounce around and would get stuck in the bushes. Every time this happened we chased it down the slope. 

We slid down the path, dotted with pine trees tall

the same path that the water carved

As it too went down- looking for a ball

We stumbled in rocks, slipped on pine leaves

Faced the trees as we broke our downhill speed.


A year or two later, the teachers put up a net around the ground.  The ball stopped rolling down the hills. And then the boys stopped rolling down the hill. Well… the boys kept rolling, just not down the hill.

Then the boys and the girls were really thankful. They could play longer- didn’t have to chase the ball downhill. 

This, I never really understood. What was the point of having a football field on top of a hill if the ball wasn’t to roll off the edge every now and then?  For me, football was the whole; from chasing the jocks to murdering the socks. The bushes and the berries. The trees and the pine cones. Football really was a vertical game.  

Ever since the net came up, my will to play football went down.


Who’s this guy?


I am tired
and I am sick of
looking for this man.

My girlfriend looks for him
My boss looks for him
Some of my god damned friends look for him
My mother has been looking for him for
years so many she can’t count it in her hands
Even the government looks for him
The society looks for him !

But, where is this man they keep talking about?
A man just like me.

Sometimes when I am drunk
they say, you can find him only when you’re sober
And when I am sober
they say, you gotta be filthy drunk to see him.

On my way to being drunk,
when I was half drunk and half sober,
when my head was drunk and the the heart was alive,
I decided to stop looking for this man.




A morning like this

The Pine trees wake up from their standing sleep
They take some time
To take their wet blankets off.

Like stray spaghetti on a restaurant floor,
The roads are dotted with earthworms,
Some dead, some waiting to die,
Some will probably make it back to the muddy sides,
Crows sit on cold steel rails,
they have just taken a bath in the morning dew,
They do not care about the plentiful breakfast of
Worms that is spread out in the pavement,
Yet !

Down below,
In the foothills,
Wheat tips grow more golden than gold
Fresher than the news or donuts,
glisten in the yellow morning sun.

As morning dew seeps in through the shoes and the socks, and your toes-
Into your blood stream you understand
The land that is mushy is the most clean,
Shoes that are muddy are the best looking shoes.

Ugly water tanks,
dull as an concrete electric pole dot the fields,
The Earth is carefully carved
for the rain water to flow into these gold beds
And beyond –
I take my smartphone out to take a picture,
but it’s not difficult to see,
Early mornings are like water,
We have associated water with pipes and collection tanks, but they do not really belong there,
Can I fit the crows and the worms
and the wheat and the pine trees
and the mist and the dew,
And the shy gaurishankar gleaming mildly in the north,
And the super confident yellow morning sun inside a frame?

I think of Dhulikhel
As I walk beside bagmati,
The trees and the crows and the worms are here too,
If you are lucky you can see a few mountain tops too,
But I shall
Neither take a picture
Nor write a poem,
about a morning like this.

It is difficult to be happy all the time, the world is a heavy thing to carry on your shoulders. I know you have it worse, you weave the world’s dark gifts in your hair.
But, find thrill in small things. Buy material shit if you have to, even trivial laughs will throw your head in the air for a while,that is not a bad thing.

I wish I could be there with you all the time but I have my own world that I need to brave, some knots I need to untangle, some walls I need to ‘door’. I know sooner than later, before the sun dies out on both of us, before your rainbow heart fades into the blue, before the rain decides to become a hail storm- we will find each other, we will have to.
And then, we will sleep together. Sheltered under a Timba Sirak, our messed up heads jiggling on the pillow like balls inside a scrotum.

And we will stay there, wrinkled and happy.


म चाहन्छु
बिहान मेरो आँगनबाट एउटा सूर्य उदय होस्
‎म चाहन्छु त्यो सूर्यका प्रकाशहरु
‎पर पर सम्म
‎कोमल र निश्चल सितका थोपाहरुमा मिसिन पुगुन्
‎म चाहन्छु
‎त्यो सूर्यका किरणहरु वन जंगल भित्र पस‌ुन्
‎खोलानाला सँग ठो‌‍‌क्कीउन्

‎म चाहन्न
बादलका काला पर्दाहरु
‎बिहानैदेखि सूर्यको तेजमा बन्देज बनुन्
‎म चाहन्छु
‎यो सूर्य सधै निर्विकल्प उदाओस्
‎झरी परोस् वा आँधी आओस्
‎तर यो सूर्य उदाउँन नछोडोस्

‎मेरो आँगनबाट उदाएको यो सूर्य
बिहानीको निष्क्रियतासँग ‎ बिप्लव गरोस्
‎मध्यान्हको आलस्यसँग संघर्ष गरोस्
‎सन्ध्याको उमङ्गलाई अङ्कमाल गरोस्
‎निषाको कोखमा निदाओस्

‎हिजोआज मेरो आँगनबाट
‎हुरि उदाउने गर्छ
‎मैले जानेका, मैले मानेका सबै कुरालाई
बेस्सरी हल्लाउने गर्छ

हिजोआज मेरो आँगनबाट
‎ग्रहण उदाउने गर्छ
‎र बिप्लव गर्दैन
‎बरु अन्धकारसँग मिलेर षड्यन्त्र गर्छ

म चाहन्न
यो हुरिको प्रकोप पर परसम्म पुगोस्
कोमल र निश्चल सितका थोपाहरुलाई
जमीनमा पछारोस्
‎म चाहन्न
त्यो ग्रहण वन जंगल भित्र पसोस्
म चाहन्न
अन्धकार नै मेरो बिहानी मध्यान्ह र सन्ध्या बनोस्

त्यसैले म पूर्वसन्ध्या-
अलिकति ज्योति उधारो माग्ने गर्छु
र मनमा रातभर एउटा सानो दियो बालेर सुत्ने गर्छु
म हुरि बतास र झरीबाट
त्यो दियोको रक्षा गर्छु
निदरीलाई भन्छु
“याद राख्नु, यो दियोमा तेल कम नहोस् ”
रातभर यो दियो अखण्ड बल्ने गर्छ

म चाहन्छु हरेक बिहान
मेरो आँगनबाट
एउटा सूर्य उदय होस्

भन्नुस् कमरेड

हेर्नुस कमरेड
एक पटक
माटो खनेर
तपाईले काटेका केहि टाउकाहरु
आज शरीरसँग जोडिए कि ?

एक पटक हेर्नुस कमरेड
अर्काको हातको रगत
पाप्रा पाप्रा भएर
कतै त्यो तपाईकै हातमा त टाँसिएन !

अनि भन्नुस् कमरेड –
हामीले क्रान्तिको कुन दाम पत्याउने?
हामीले क्रान्तिको कुन नाम पत्याउने?
हामीले कुन वाम पत्याउने?

-समीप ढुङ्गेल


Wake up
Have some cornflakes
Go to the work place
So you can keep buying the cornflakes
Man, is this what it takes
To keep repeating the same takes
Repeating the same route
Baking the same cake?
No icing no sugar
Just a damn dry lake
I would not be wrong to
Call this a mistake
Man, we lost in our own lives
Trying to make sense of all this red tape
Living like livestock
We are living for slaughter
Living to afford college
For us, then our sons and daughters
Living to buy things
Trying to win over the taxes
This city is Never quiet: no lull
the mind never relaxes
I take my life and measure it in baskets
I put the things I consume
Swear it looks like a casket
I could tell it like it is
Man, it’s easy if you a class kid
For Mass kid, there aint much hope
Other than begging and asking
From kulfi suckers
To the lickers of Robin who’s basking
No Messiah here
Why are we masking
The dread of life that we are asking
Flashy clothes to pack our ass in
And toilet paper to keep the ass clean
Put on a little saffron so we can mask sin
Climbing up the ladder put the Task in
make sure your not the one who’s last in
Making life
Faking shit
The cars the booze and not looking shit
Put a gold chain around your neck
The gold pain around your neck
A great Dane with a collar I the great neck
Take a good picture of your life
For zuck’s sake
Get a job that pays you dollars
Be a hustler not a scholar

They want me to be motivated
Like a bird who’s gotta find his nest and
Find a mate to do the nest thing
They say this nestling, is the best thing
You can have a nice life
Get a good life
Find a place to live
Buy some cornflakes
Then go to the work place
So you can keep buying that cornflakes