The woman from Dillibazaar

​She measured the earth in multiples of the distance between her home and the farthest city she has ever been to,Dharan.  She asked me if where I came from was farther than her reference town. She looked at my face as if she could see the dirty ponds and the dusty streets of my home town, I looked back at her trying to find traces of Kathmandu, the city that has spawned her whole ancestry, but all I could find was a small intersection,one among many of intersections of Kathmandu, at most I could see parts of Dillibazaar .

When she smiled to bid me goodbye, her smile didn’t look like Dillibazaar, it looked like Dharan.

I wonder if, when I look into the mirror, I will ever be able to recognize the city I carry in my smile.

The it factor !

He sniffed himself
more often than not

Some times he wondered
if other people smelt it too,

In fancy hallways he felt at home,
Vanilla that rose up from white china cups filled the air,
These cups were full of it as well.
And he would wear all these bright clean clothes,
with saturated colors,
big bold rich names stapled to them.
He would wear these beautiful sparkling things,
that shined more than gold,
glittered more than the March night sky,
His clothes were full of it as well.

His speech was like an assortment of fresh green salad,
his acquired accent like salad dressings, overpaid for, from convenient stores,
These stores were full of it as well.

His walls were decorated with well composed landscape pictures
You could find him somewhere in the frame as well,
tiny and almost invisible, but some how he felt very big about this,
His engineering degree hung by the side,
As if someone had put a reflector in his sockets,
his pride glistening in his eyes,
Even his walls were full of it

He walked down the road with spring in his feet,
His hands in his pocket,
A well measured smile in his face,
Even his walk was full of it.

He sniffed himself more often than not,
He worried if other people smelt it too.

He saw me in the mirror the other day,
He said, “sh…
Don’t you tell,
don’t you tell nobody about it.
I am doing my best to hide it.”

I said- “Don’t worry bro, it’s not just you, everybody is full of shit.”

Recurring martydom

I was killed by the “rising sun”

that promised me

land to yield and a place safe

i was instead given a tongue less mouth

even which i kept

then i was asked for a few years

to make things right

i said”why not”

a few years will pass out

swiftly like a summer night.

 

years later nothing changed

then i was told,

it was all but lies

i do not believe what i hear

but i gotta believe my eyes

there was no tongue in my mouth

no sense in my head

no guarantee i would not be taken a prisoner

while i wake from my bed

i said”ah hell ! this has to change ”

 

and change it did,but i didn’t see

you see,  i was the foundation of what you have with thee

i marched the street like a mad dog

 

i was armed with slogans

while i was facing bullets

my words would pierce hearts

but couldn’t stop them damn bullets

 

in the end i was shot,

in the leg first and when i fell

in my head, bang bang

two shots to make sure.

i wouldn’t rise again

killed like a mad dog.

again and again.

 

duihazar sixtythree ,  dui hazar fourtysix and dui hazar-seven

i am your recurring martyr

i die again and again.

 

-May 17, 2011

Trade Deficit

What we are doing love, it does not make sense to me.

Why are we making these horrible trades, oxygen for oil, life for paper ? We gave up kisses and we gave up hugs, we gave up our loved ones for pictures and jet journeys. The years of our youth for AC rooms, for whistles and beeps. Why would anyone give up chocolate and take only the fancy chocolate packaging in return? It does not make sense to me. What I wish is we looked at stars the way we look at cars. I wish we looked at hearts the way we look at malls and marts. I wish we looked at tree like they were jewelry. What we are doing love, it does not make sense to me.

 

 

When the day dies

There is a building in Lalitpur. If you find yourself on the ground towards the south of the building you’ll, of course, see it’s south elevation. On the south elevation, if you ignore the ten small circular holes on the far right and the far left – you’re left, with sixty big windows. Each window, the border of which is painted white, has three major panels, each panel has its own smaller upper panel that is fixed . The bigger central panel is fixed too, the two panels on either side swing outside. The building is a huge five storey structure; nothing remarkable about it really. At 7:00 PM one man makes his way up the stairs from the right side of the building. He walks up to the top floor. He starts from the top right room. In every room, he first pulls in the window panes and latches them, he then walks back to the door and switches the lights off before he locks the door from outside and moves on to the next one. When in the next room, he repeats this act. After he is done with the top floor, he walks down the stairs and goes through each of the rooms in the lower floor, then moves on to the next floor. Eventually, he reaches the very last room. All the lights in this building have been switched off one by one, in the end only one window glows. But, before he checks the windows and switches off the light of this last room, he rests. He leans on the window and smokes a cigarette. After he finishes his cigarette, he dumps the butt in the bin and dutifully latches the windows, switches the lights off and locks the door from the outside. I did not check the time, so I can’t say with certainty, but it mustn’t have taken him more than sixty years to get to the bottom left room from the top right room.

Cauliflower Carpet

The city I live in rains on and pours, through my walls, windows and doors. But sometimes, I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band; I think of sounds.

I remember the times when my ears were overflown, by the cries this city makes, the dangling dishes from the neighbor’s kitchen, the random Street seller dragging his two-wheeled spoke held bicycle shop,  selling random shit, everything sells on the streets from carpets to cauliflowers.

Sitting on my two color helical bamboo tool, that I bought from a similar bicycle shop,  I try to listen to the cauliflower and the carpet talk to each other, I wish I could comprehend their language.  What would the cauliflower say? What would the cauliflower have to share about its life to a carpet, what would the carpet understand? What about the cauliflower’s unruly hands that spreads out like disease would the carpet relate to? Wouldn’t the carpet only nod back – just to be nice.

And what would the carpet have to say to a cauliflower. What about its endless two-dimensional spread would the cauliflower relate to? Would the Cauliflower be awed by the stories of the sheep’s that were trimmed for the carpet to be born. Would the cauliflower be curious about the tale- What would he ask back , Did the sheep like their new hairstyle?  What happened to the them? Where do they live? How many carpets have they given birth to?

What would the cauliflower understand? Wouldn’t cauliflower only nod back, just to be nice. The city I live in rains on and pours, through my walls, windows and doors, but sometimes, when I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band, I think of sounds.

My ears are overflown. The metal gates of neighborhood, they open and close as if they were eyes, the creaks that usually follow opening and closing of doors are replaced by dog barks that follow in religious conformity. These metal flaps are not just eye lids ,but also holes, like worm holes suspended in space with giggly edges,  they lead both inside and outside, it really only depends on which side you want to call inside.

When I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band, I can hear my heart beat. It beats like metal gates like eyes, it imitates  the street seller’s timed calls,
it beats like the clanks in an old gas igniter in the neighbor’s kitchen, tikk ! tikk ! tikk ! Desperately trying to put something on fire with a little spark.  My heart beats like the way a spoon falls on marble floor, and sometimes my heart sounds like carpet is telling stories to a cauliflower.