Wednesday, November 26, 2014

कुर्दा कुर्दा काँडा पनि फुल्न पुगेछु

पहिलो भेटमै उनीसँग खुल्न पुगेछु
थाहै नपाई उनलाई मनमा हुल्न पुगेछु

सपना कि बिपना हो होश गुमाएर
मात्र उनकै वरिपरि डुल्न पुगेछु

उनी भईन् पराई अनि गईन् धेरै टाढा
अझै पनि उनकै यादमा झुल्न पुगेछु

दिन हप्ता महिना बर्ष दशक बिते पनि
सम्झी सम्झी आफूलाईनै भुल्न पुगेछु

उनी एक गुलाब थिईन् म एक काँडा
कुर्दा कुर्दा काँडा पनि फुल्न पुगेछु

Sunday, November 23, 2014

भोजहरूमा अचेल

कैयौं भोजहरूमा अचेल देखिन्छ
असुरक्षाका भ्रमले आशंकित
मानवीय तरलता
त्यहाँ, हाउभाउमा, कमै भेटिन्छन्
सुखद, सम्मोहक, सर्वश्रेष्ठ सरलता

त्यहाँ भेटिन्छन्
जवानीको जोश खेर फालेर
बुढेसकालमा होश आएका बृद्धहरू
पवित्र हाँसोका उपहार पस्कदै
दौडने भुराहरू
अनि भलाकुसारीसँगै
सुरु हुन्छन् युवा युवतीका कुराहरू

ती भेलामा
जगाइन्छन् भावनाका भल 
बगाइन्छन् स्नेहका जल
ओकलिन्छन् केहि अन्तरङ्ग
उक्लिइन्छन् सौहार्दताका भर्याङ

सँगसँगै
भट्याइन्छन् विचार भीषण
सुनाइन्छन् खेलकुदका पुराण
चढिन्छन् सिद्दान्तका भीर
छेडिन्छन् व्यंग्यका झीर

भोजको अबोध माहोलमा
केही बेचैन आँखाहरू
अरु तेस्तै आँखाहरूसँग चुपचाप ठोक्किन्छन्
मात्र ठोक्किने आँखाहरूले थाहा पाउँछन्

यस्तै यावत कुरा हुने
भोजहरूमा अचेल 
आफ्नो समाजप्रतिको आस्थासँगै
भोजनको प्रचुरता र
भौतिक भोगको पराकाष्ठा पनि देखिन्छन् 

तर अन्त कतै भने
अनिकालमा भयानक भविष्य पर्खानेका
अनि
अनशनरत चेतनशीलका
भरोसा भाँचिन्छन्

कैयौं भोजहरूमा अचेल
जोश र जाँगरका ढिस्का नासिन्छन्
कर्मको घाम देख्न नपाएका असल आकाँक्षाहरू
ताछिएका समयका बोक्रामा टाँसिन्छन्
सँगसँगै
कैयौं मोतिका मन झन् झन् भासिन्छन् ।
कैयौं मोतिका मन झन् झन् भासिन्छन् । ।

Jhola: Nepali Movie Review

This is my first ever movie review. Yesterday, I had a chance to see Nepali movie Jhola during a screening at the Nepali Sahitya Sanjh organized by a local Nepali organization in Madison, Wisconsin. The story writer of the movie, Krishna Dharabai, was also present during the event. He has also acted in the movie.

I had read the story Jhola before it was made as a movie. As a reader, I was not very impressed with the story; although I deeply appreciated the intent behind it. It shows forceful and brutal immolation of widowed woman on the husband's funeral pyre by a tradition called 'Sati'. The tradition was prevailing in Nepal until around hundred years ago. My thoughts at the time I read the story was that I wished the story was about some contemporary atrocities on women like torturing for being 'witches' or on-going oppression of women or rampant rape problems to name a few.

Different than the story, the movie at the end does makes a connection between inhuman Sati tradition and on the going problems of today. However, I still wish that the story and the movie was about a contemporary shameful practice rather than abolished traditions like Sati or slavery that the mankind has overcome today. Keeping my wish behind, I am going to critic some things about movie itself.

My ticket for Jhola movie

Cinematography of the movie is strictly OK. I like the fact that the evening scenes of the movie have a dim lighting feeling as there was no electricity during that time in the kind of setting the movie was made. However, the day time scenes could have been more attractive visually; showcasing the natural beauty of the setting. Editing of the movie could be a little better as there were some transitions that showed poor editing. Great care was seen in making the clothes, utensils, and tools used. They match the timeline of the story. Screenplay was superb most of the time however there were some scenes that did not quite work as well as others. Like falling of the stack of sticks after the news of the child artist's father died and the character of Laxmi Giri gasping for water after she found the Sati is alive work perfectly. However, the the scene when village women show pity on the main character's fate and a drop of water falling on a pond with ripples does not connect very well.

Casting of characters is overall good. Child artist has done exceptionally well. I think the main character Garima Pant portrays her role very well. However, if I were a casting director, I would have looked for little rougher but innocent looking mountain beauty for the role. Laxmi Giri, the evil looking priest (casted well) and other character actors are excellent. Knowing the author beforehand, I felt like Krishna Dharabasi being in movie a little awkward, I would have casted someone else in his role.

I think making a movie out of the original story was very worthwhile. The screenplay and the visual stimulation add value to the overall intent. Great job by late Deepak Aalok on screenplay and direction by Yadav Kumar Bhattarai is good. The movie is outstanding in the pool of existing Nepali movies. It clearly deserves to be an official entry into Oscars from Nepal. However, if we compare to technical excellence and overall quality of world cinema, the movie just barely meets the standards. The message is great but being about an outdated ritual it does not have a very effective blow. I will not be surprised if it does not make to the eight amongst the other 80 or so entry into the Oscars in the foreign film category. However, who knows what the jury of the Oscars think. :)

Overall rating of the movie: ½

All the best to Jhola!

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

                        **