Gopal Prasad Rimal

The Story of my Love

I had a dark one then,
the one who couldn’t dare to face

the magnificent
daggers of my awesome presence.

I was her King
but she couldn’t be my Queen.

A doorkeeper’s daughter she was,
could speak only to doorkeepers.

To some cannibal world she belonged,
savagery being her religion.

Could she dare to face
the glowing pinpoints of my shimmering eyes?

But then I had white ones too
who like the dark one

plotted to
possess me in their dreams

because in reality
it was no better than an obscene joke.

In dream, thus, they labored to save me from myself,
like in dreams they had tried to tame me.

In dreams their vicious schemes flowered.
In dreams, they conspired to kill me.

In dreams they plotted
to suck the blood tingling in the veins of my rebellious heart.

Times of the dark ones
came and passed away.

Now the white ones are dancing in the castles of filth.
and with them I am dancing too.

But aren’t such games nothing
but figments of fantasy?

Can such games choke the stars of my conscience?
Have I sought a divorce from harlots of illusion?

I am used to dancing with the dames of revolution
That’s why to me love and revolution seem equal.

That’s why revolution has yet to accept my sacrifice.
That’s why revolution has yet to become my bride.

I have already offered my salute to it.
I am thirsty of revolution. I am its ardent lover.

Revolution has yet to make love to me.
I am hungry.

It has yet
to serve the storms of my hunger.

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Song of the Slaves

Our ponds of inertia are dear to us.
Our pride in preserving the ponds is dear to us.

Who are you to tarnish
glorious pinpoints of our pride?

In here we love the clouds of our confusion.
In here our indecision is dear to us.

“I might put otherwise.”
Who are you to range our ranks?

In here we wear
faces of our final loss.

“You haven’t won.
Winner is someone else.”

Who are you to question
the windmills of our defeat?

We love dank sloth
of our decadent streets,

we love clubs
of injustice hammering

sparks of humiliation
out from our heads.

We love sweet sleep
of our Destiny’s dragon.

Who’re you to besmirch
our eyes with Waking’s tempestuous sweep?

We don’t love apples of your grand dreams.
The towers of your change aren’t dear to us.

Oh! If only we could steal moons of someone’s faith.
‘Don’t do this, be self-reliant”

Who are you to shake
the balance of our dust dilemmas?

All we need is a hero
to smoothen the creases of our drudgery.

All we need is a character
to scatter sparks of our defeat.

Assassinating our savior, saying,
“We aren’t what he tried to make of us”

we might chance to prove our worth.
But who are you to say-


Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Gopal Prasad Rimal

Nepal's greatest poet, Gopal Prasad Rimal, was born in Kathmandu in 1918. During his adolescence he came under the influence of revolutionaries who were aspiring to overthrow the then despotic Rana regime. In 1941, the brutal execution of the Nepali patriot Dashrath Chand and his friends fired Rimal's imagination and thus revolution became the bedrock of his creative ventures. Rimal founded a creative organization called "Praja Panchayat" to raise voice against the suppression of Nepalese masses by the autocratic Rana rulers and was imprisoned on several occasions for his involvement in the Movement. He played a pivotal role in making the 1950-51 Democratic Movement successful but soon after grew disillusioned. His dreams of a democratic Nepal were shattered as "harlots of anarchy" in the garb of democracy started dancing in "castles of filth.” Rimal lost his mental balance and was sent to an asylum in Ranchi. Later he was brought back to Nepal to spend the rest of his life, roaming insane in the streets of Kathmandu with the dream of a true democracy seething in him. Rimal died in 1973.