Bhupi Sherchan

Daily in my Dreams…

Daily in my dreams
young mothers come and like a lunatic

“O now my milk is of no value,
nor there remains now any meaning of my motherhood”

start singing this song
and start showing me their unfed breasts

swollen from the excess of stale milk,
an ugly pig suckling her filthy offspring,

start feeding them from their breasts
start pulling their matted hair,

start beating their breasts, start demanding
the presence of their long lost sons.

Daily in my dreams
battered by the kicks of the world

by the demons of death

fragile-boned old men and
shriveled up elderly women come

to lie prostrate before me,
to ask from me a thread of their uncertain future,

to inquire
the whereabouts of their long lost sons.

Daily in my dreams countless
young widows come to strip naked before me

showing black bruises on their snowy plump bodies
wrought by lust of the eyes of the world.

Daily in my dreams
carrying germs of tuberculosis come

countless children to demand from me
fee for their school, money to buy books,

a cricket bat, a father’s kiss,
security and a night of sound sleep.

This way in my dreams daily
a vast ocean of tears of the men of Malaya takes shape.

In each wave of this sea
a fresh corpse comes up as previous one corpse sinks

But before sinking, each corpse
flares its bloodshot eye at me.

O how in my dreams
my wake’s contemptuous history hates me!

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

O Children of Partridges, Quails and Sacrificial Buffaloes

O unfortunate children
of partridges, quails and sacrificial buffaloes,

be it the German attack,
Burma’s turbulent borders,

the rubber forests of Malaya,
Nefa’s or Ladakh’s battlefields of fire,

O unlucky
illustrious scapegoats

who lost their lives
without a cause in lands foreign,

like a partridge,
a quail or a bull

provoked by others
to spurt into a murderous motion

cheered by claps
triggered not from within,

drowsed by wines
gifted to quell qualms of conscience,

leaped into battlefields
shrieking, Ayo Gorkhali!

howling the advent of
senseless bulls on the altars of injustice

O unfortunate widows celebrating
your son’s birthdays with the pension of these very soldiers

O old parents invoking
the charms of eighty-four gods from the magic

of their blood-soaked earning

O gallants glowing from
the warmth of your late friend’s jersey,

wooing Soltee in the Rodi,

O brides on the fresh nuptial wagons
flushed with the glow of nose rings

and bangles gifted by the dead heroes,

greatly shimmer on your chests
these Padamvira Chakaras and Victoria Crosses.

But doesn’t ever from
these medals come a corpse’s festering stench,

the stench
of your own butchered dreams?

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Bhupi Sherchan

Bhupi Sherchan, the true successor of Rimal, was born in a well-off Thakali family of Tukuche, Mustang in Nepal. He started under a pen name, 'Sarvahara', and published Naya Jhaure, a collection of songs in popular Jhaure meter. He moved to Kathmandu around late 60s and came in touch with Krishna Bhakta Shrestha and Basu Shashi and founded a literary organization, Rodi. Around this period, he wrote against the then one-party Panchayat regime and was jailed. Later he shed his pen name and Sanskrit meter and started publishing in little literary magazines like Rooprekha and Sahitya. Later he shot to fame with his epoch making book, Gumne Mechmathi Andho Manche, (A Blind Man in a Revolving Chair). Bhupi died in 1989.