Saturday, November 15, 2014

ऊ जितेर गई या हारेर गई / Did she leave winning or losing?

If not considering the old classics and few modern Nepali songs from Tara Devi, Nati Kaji, Narayan Gopal, Arun Thapa, Deepak Kharel, Deep Shrestha, Bhakta Raj Acharya, Prem Dhoj Pradan, or lets say a few musicians, it is hard to find Nepali songs with very meaningful and well written lyrics. Of course there are exceptions but I think this is true in general. Same in the Gajal front.

I recently came across this beautiful Gajal sang by Raj Sigdel and written by Pursottam Dhungel and composed by Chandi Prasad Kafle. However, I did not like the visualization of this Gajal. The visualization is not of my taste, so much so that it distracts me. However, the lyrics, vocal and composition get five stars from me. Enjoy the Gajal with lyrics, and my imperfect attempt at translating it into English.

ऊ जितेर गई या हारेर गई Did she leave winning or losing?
नतिजा आफैंतिर पारेर गई She did acquire the result in her favor
हिजो निम्ता दिई बस्न दिलमा Yesterday, she invited me to her heart
आज काँडे तारले बारेर गई Today she fenced it with a thorn rope
प्रितको एउटा फूल थियो बगैँचामा There was a flower of love in garden
आकाश बाट असिना झारेर गई She left showering hail rain over it
बाँच्दै त थिएँ घायलै भए पनि Although wounded, I was still living
मुस्कानको छुरा रोपी मारेर गई She left me dead stabbing with a dagger of her smile
रोपेर प्रेम को फूल यो मेरो मनमा She planted a flower of love in my mind and made it grow
हुर्काई अन्तै सारेर गई She left transplanting it somewhere else
पर्खिएँ मनको ढोका उघारी I waited her with an open door to my heart
उ भोली भन्दै टारेर गई She put me off saying 'Tomorrow!'
ऊ जितेर गई या हारेर गई Did she leave winning or losing?
नतिजा आफैंतिर पारेर गई She did acquire the result in her favor

Sunday, November 9, 2014

प्रचण्ड र उनका पिछलग्गु नेपालको लागि क्यान्सर

नेपाली राजनीतिमा धेरै नेताको उदय भयो तर प्रचण्ड जस्तो बेइमान र भ्रष्ट कोहि देखिएन | ताजुब लाग्छ , जो मान्छे उच्च स्तरिय राजनीतिक समितिको सभापति हुन त्यत्रो नाटक गर्छ, फेरि उही त्यहि समितिमा कुरा नराखेर अरु बाईस दलको गठबन्धनको नेतृत्व गर्दै देशभर जनता उचाल्दै जनताले अत्याधिक मतले चुनेर पठाएका दुई पार्टीलाई धम्किपूर्ण भाषा प्रयोग गर्छ |

एक त नेपाल जस्तो सानो मुलुकलाइ संघियेता होइन प्रभावकारी विकेन्द्रीकरण चाहिएको छ , तेस्को लागि दश वटै संघ हुनुपर्छ भन्ने फ्यान्तु कुरा गरेर यो कांग्रेस र एमालेको बोलबाला हुँदा संबिधान ल्याउन नदिने बखेडा हो | प्रचण्ड, बैध्य र अरू मधेशबादीलाई सुशील कोइरालाको सरकारले सम्मान गर्दै समावेश गर्न खोजेकै हो | अहिलेको परिवेशमा कांग्रेस र एमाले विशेषज्ञहरूको कुरा सुन्ने अनि देश र जनताको हित हुनेगरी जनतालाई राहत र कानुको राज्य प्रत्याभूति हुने संबिधान दिनु पर्छ | उनीहरूको लागि यो सुनौलो मौका हो |

माओबादीको लज्जाजनक हार पछिको चर्तिकला देख्दा असलमा उसको जनसमर्थन झन् खस्केको कुरामा कुनै दुइ मत नहोला | तैपनि केहि समालोचक सोच नभएका युवालाई पाल पोश गरेर, बुर्जुवा शिक्षा भन्दै बन्चित गराएर, आफ्नो कुरा रटाएर पछि लगाउदै जुन दम्भ माओबादीले प्रस्तुत गर्दै आएको छ तेस्को पनि बिस्तारै अन्त्य हुँदै जानेछ | जनयुद्दको अन्त्यपछि माओबादीको चर्तिकला बाट कति युद्ध लडेका सिपाहीको अब आँखा खुलिसकेको छ अनि घर न घाटको हुने युवाहरू को पनि आँखा खुल्दै छ |

हो, एमाले वा कांग्रेसलाई मेरो हर कुरामा समर्थन छैन, उनीहरूको पनि हरेक क्रियाकालापबाट मुल्यांकन गरिनु पर्छ | सबै नेता कुनै पार्टीका पनि राम्रा छैनन् | माओबादीमा पनि राष्ट्र भक्त र असल नेता छन्, कार्यकर्ता पनि छन् | यदि माओबादी पार्टीले साँच्चै नेपालमा टिकाऊ राजनीति गर्ने हो भने त्यो पार्टीमा प्रचण्ड र उसका अन्धभक्तको अन्त्य हुनु पर्छ |

एमाले वा कांग्रेसले भने जनताको चाहना अनुसार जनताको हित हुने काम नडराई गर्दै जानु पर्छ | देशलाई संबिधान, शान्ति र शुसाशन दिनु पर्छ | माओबादीले जिम्मेवार र प्रजातान्त्रिक मूल्य मान्यता अनुसारको प्रतिपक्ष हुनुपर्छ | झन् झन् द्वन्द बढाउने नीतिले माओबादीको पतन निश्चित छ | एमाले र कांग्रेसले मौकालाई राम्रो सदुपयोग गर्न नसके घुमिफिरी उही माओबादीको हातमा जनसमर्थन फर्कन सक्छ (प्रचण्ड जस्तो व्यक्ति माओबादीमा हावी हुँदा हुँदै चाहिं त्यो सम्भव नहोला ) |

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A few thoughts on current politics of Nepal

I am very skeptic that the new constitution that is being promised to be delivered pretty soon in Nepal is really going to be delivered anytime soon. Although this may sound banal, what a shame to the political parties!

The first constitution assembly got dismissed as the parties failed to come to consensus and it was a major blow to the hopes of Nepali people. The second one is also on the verge of failure, even with a major shift in balance of power from higher weight of Maoists to now a Nepali Congress and UML coalition.

I personally think Maoist's demand for breaking the country into many states is foolish. I do think Nepal needs decentralization (a real one) but that can be done with existing structure of the nation, five development zones. Just a true implementation is lacking. The idea of breaking the nation into many states and having separate parliaments and all is just beyond my comprehension. Nepal is so small, we do not need all of that.

So, now that all the major parties are ready for re-structuring anyways, my wish is that they keep the number of states to a minimum. The only optimistic side for me is that the new structures may bring some freshness and enthusiasm to move forward. However, the new structures have to be efficient and they should reduce burden on the nation and its people.

On the issue of election of the executive, I like the idea of direct election from people, whoever is the executive, be it the president or the prime minister. The idea of the parliament electing the executive sounds senseless looking at the history of instability of governments in Nepal. On this issue, Maoists have it right. However, UML who earlier was in favor of direct election of the executive during the elections is now backing out.

I understand that the direct election could present a danger of a party getting elected once and it using the power of state to influence other elections to hold on to that power. However, that is a separate issue which has to be checked and balanced by opposition and the citizens. The idea in itself is good and necessary in the context of Nepal. Direct election of executive ensures stability of governments and helps in doing some actual work during the tenure of the government. Unlike now, where governments could change every six months and everything is focused only on how to keep the government stable or to bring it down. Even under direct election system, if things are going extremely wrong, there will be provisions to impeach the executive. And, the laws would be made by parliament anyways.

On the issue of Madhesh, janajatis, and ethnic groups, we have to be inclusive and sensitive in shifting power to actual people in the grassroots. We also have to respect everyone's rights to non-violently and freely express their dissatisfaction toward the status quo. This is not going to happen if we only follow the political rhetoric of dishonest politician like Pushpa Kaml Dahal aka Prachanda, who has a history of leading the rebellion army primarily consisting of ethnic groups and using them violently to get to power and compromise anything for his own gain of power.

Look what 10 years of Maoists insurgency has accomplished? Yes, it may have had some positive impact on few changes that occurred, but who knows, they could have happened in the course of time themselves. As we don't know the counter-factual, we can only see what has happened. And it is safe to say that the country has moved backwards 50 years due to the Maoist insurgency. And now their obsolete theory of dividing the nation into many states with ethnic themes in the name of decentralization shines their sheer stupidity. Look what a mess they have created in politics of Nepal, even their own party has split into many parties, and the so called mainstream Maoist party has multiple factions. Were they not the ones who sacrificed thousands of innocent Nepali people's life in the name of change? If they were able to induct, unite and mobilize that kind of army; why can't they unite in true interest of Nepal. It does sound fishy doesn't it? Because it's not about country or the people; guess what? Its all about THEMSELVES.

Now this doesn't spare other parties either. They do not get vindicated easily. They have their own splits and self-centeredness. But, at-least they didn't wage a war that pushed the nation backwards. Now, not one party is correct in all issues. Not one person. We, the people have to be critical and decide what is appropriate for us. What is a common sense solution? What is a rhetoric and what is of substance? What do technocrats say? What is being decided by us and what is being imposed on us?Then we have to pressure our politicians to do the right thing (many times, the best among options - when there is no right or wrong).

For politicians, now is the time for them to deliver a constitution that is in interest of Nepal and Nepali people. If not now, when?

May we see a constitution soon and a Nepal moving fiercely towards development and prosperity. That is always my hope although I am guilty myself of leaving Nepal and spending the most productive years of my life abroad. However, I do this for my own self-interest without promising anyone anything. If things were different in Nepal, I am not sure I would have ended up abroad in the first place. But let's not get into hypothetical situations!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

केही मुक्तकहरू

तिमीसँग एकान्तमा हुन मन लाग्छ
सुनसानमा स्वासले स्वास छुन मन लाग्छ
साउतीले मन साट्ने मात्र होइन
चाहनालाई तृप्तीले धुन मन लाग्छ
                        **

जीवन मात्र कहाँ हो र ? अव त रहर पनि तुहिन थाल्यो
अरुको त चामल फल्यो रे, आफ्नो त पिठो पनि कुहिन थाल्यो
थुपार्या छन् अरुले कुन्नि कसरी हो? आफ्नो त
टाल्या टाल्यै गर्दा पनि सबथोक चुहिन थाल्यो
                        **

पागल प्रेमीको नाम दिएको छ दुनियाँले, मलाई त सिर्फ मायाको भोक थाहा छ
वरिपरि अरु हाँस्य नाँच्या छन्, मलाई त सिर्फ तिमी नपाउनुको शोक थाहा छ
भन्छन् बौलाएँ रे, बेहोश छु रे,  कहाँ छु ? कसरी छु ? केही थाहा छैन
हो भुलेछु सबथोक मैले आजकल तर मलाई अझै तिमी हिँड्ने चोक थाहा छ
                        **

तिम्रा आँखा कस्ता चुम्बक हुन् कुन्नि सधैं मलाई तिमीतिरै तान्छन्
म जता जान खोजे पनि घुमिफिरी तिमीतिरै लान्छन्
भुल्छु तिमीलाई भन्छु धेरैतिर मन डुलाउन खोज्छु
तर मनका भावना अनि मायाका छाल तिमीतिरै मात्र जान्छन्

                        **

Saturday, September 27, 2014

खुट्टाहरू चुँडिएको माकुरो

उसले भौतिक सुखका होइन आदर्शका शब्द कहेछ
अनि पो दहिपछि खाएको पानीझैं खल्लो हुँदै गएछ

नाम र शक्तिको पछि लाग्न छोडेर
आफ्नै बदनामी पनि सहर्ष सहेछ

सोच र सिद्धान्तलाई मात्र च्याप्न छोडेर
आफ्ना भावनामा पनि मनखुस बहेछ

ऊ अरू जस्तो हुन नखोज्ने आफ्नै संसारमा रमाउने
अरुको नजरमा ऊ त कसैले नबुझ्ने पागल रहेछ

संसार जकडिएको सामाजिक जालो
ऊ चाहिं खुट्टाहरू चुँडिएको माकुरोझैं भएछ

Spider with its legs plucked off by Santosh Lamichhane










P.S. I wish I knew how to draw well ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pointers

everything around us is a pointer
that shows all the answers
we just need to be able to see

yet
until we are not ripe enough
or seeking earnestly
our vision will be clouded
Pointers by Santosh Lamichhane

there is nothing we can do
nothing we have to do

every experience is spontaneous
it is an unplanned activity
that is only in the Now

we needlessly try to analyze it
and give a meaning to it
but that is what prepares us
it is just a process we go through

some are ready some are not
but the flowering will happen
and at a point it is realized
truth is not a painting or a picture
it is the constant frame that never moves

all the variations are just a dance
of the manifestations
all are a form of the one unmanifested

look closely
everything is a pointer

Sunday, June 1, 2014

घामसँग के को डर ? / Why fear the sun?

Few weeks ago, when I had gone back to Nepal, I had an opportunity to meet with Mr. Mohan Duwal. He is a well known literary figure in Nepali literature. Not only has he contributed by writing various genre of Nepali literature but he has also continuously edited and published a literary journal, Janamat, and managed a publication house, Janamat Prakashan; that have supported Nepali literature and writers. He has established literary prizes, documented works of many rare literary figures, and provided invaluable contribution to Nepali literature.

I and my dad had gone to visit him. He is a very down to earth man who has a small bookstore in his house where he spends most of his time writing, reading, and doing all the literary work.

My dad, Dr. Bharat Prasad Lamichhane and Mr. Mohan Duwal at Mr. Duwal's abode
During the meeting, I had an opportunity to ask him if I could translate one of his work. I did let him know that I am a novice in the translation field. However, he said I could try with one of his poem Ghamsanga ke ko dar / Why fear the sun? Here it is for you:

घामसँग के को डर ?
  ---मोहन दुवाल

अविचल आफू निर्वस्त्र नाङ्गिएर
सधैं-सधैं आफूलाई देखाइरहने
निश्चल निश्चल भएर आफैं पोखिएर
अरूलाई जीवनरङ्ग छार्किरहने
ढाँटछल नजानेका निस्वार्थ मनसँग
माया साट्न खोजिरहने
लोभ के हो, थाहापत्तो नभएका उनी
बाँड्न रुचाउँछन् उज्याला आभाहरू
त्यसैले त सबैका लागि उनि प्रिय छन्
सबैक लागि सहारा पनि त हुन् |

युगौंयुगसम्म गर्दै आइरहेका
आफ्ना सेवा-मर्महरू भट्किन नदिन

जीवनको जग भत्किन नदिन
आफूजस्तै खोजिरहेछन उनी सधैंभरि
जहाँ पुगे पनि, जता लागे पनि
जसरि भए पनि  फैलाइरहन खोज्छन आभाहरू
निरन्तर निरन्तर फुलाइरहन्छन्
सधैं सधैं  फैलाइरहन्छन् स्पर्शहरू
जीवन मर्म-मर्ममा प्रियहरू खोज्दै
आफू दुखेर अरुलाई अमृत बाँड्ने उनी
धरतीभरि, जीवनभरि सबै-सबैलाई
मोहनी बाँड्न पाउँदा
खुशी रहन्छन् उनी |

पातहरूमा, फूलहरूमा, डाँठहरूमा
जराहरूमा, हाँगाहरूमा जहाँ पनि पुग्ने उनी
जीवहरूकै अस्तित्वमा अस्तित्वकै घाम भएर
चम्किन खोज्ने उनी
कति शालीन, कति भद्र, कसैलाई बिगार्न नजानेका
तर अरूलाई दिइरहने उनी
थाक्न नजानेर त होला
धरतीभरिभरि पोखिन सिपालु छन् |

दुस्मनी गर्दैनन् कहिल्यै उनी
कसैले इर्ष्या पनि गरेको थाहा छैन मलाई
आफू छर्किएर अरुलाई उज्यालो बाँड्न तल्लीन उनी
म त सधैं-सधैं मनमा घामजस्तै उनलाई
मनमा राख्न रुचाइरहेछु |

जसले अरूलाई दिन्छ मात्र, केही लिन जान्दैन
उससँग केको डर ?
जसले सबैलाई माया मात्र बाँड्छ, केही माग्दैन
उनीसँग के को डर ?
जो प्रकाश भएर फजिंरहन्छ धरतीभरि
जो हाँसिरहन्छ हाँसो भएर सबैतिर भरिभरि
ऊसँग केको डर ?

घाम पनि त उनीजस्तै छन्
उनी पनि त घाम जस्तै छन्
उनीसँग के को डर ?
घामसँग के को डर ?

Why fear the sun?

---Mohan Duwal

Being motionless, clothless, bare-skinned
it always exhibits itself
Firm and stationary but always dripping
it sprays others the color of life
Unaware of deception, with a selfless heart
it always seeks to exchange love
Unfamiliar with greed
it likes to disseminate shiny sparkles
So, it is liked by all
It is also a lifeline for all

To prevent going astray
its core motto to serve
To prevent crumbling down of
the foundation of life
It is always in search of its own kind
Wherever it goes, wherever it reaches
It tries to spread the shine
It continuously makes things bloom
It always scatters touch
In every phase of life,
it finds beings to love
Even in agony,
it offers ambrosia to others
In the whole earth, lifelong
it takes pleasure in sharing enamoring affection

It reaches everywhere
leaves, flowers, branches, stems, roots
It tries to glow as the existence of beings
Calm, gentle, and innocuous
it is always benevolent and generous
It always pours itself onto the earth,
perhaps, it does not know exhaustion

Never known for animosity towards anyone
I do not know anyone being jealous of it as well
It is always busy spreading itself and distributing light
Oh, I want to keep someone like sun
always in my mind

Who always gives only,
does not know to take back,
why fear such a thing?
Who only shares love with everyone,
never asks back,
why fear such a thing?
Who disperses brightness everywhere on the earth
Who fills and delights everything with a smile
Why fear such a thing?

Someone too is like the sun
The sun too is like someone
Why fear that someone?
Why fear the sun?

(translation by Santosh Lamichhane)