Shreejana Bhandari


An old snayasi is pushed into
the loft of an old haveli
carrying the bulky
weight of a crumbling past
and made hostage to a shattered relationship
like the last remains of a  delaying past…

He lies curled up,
his knees thrust into his caved memory of breathlessness.
He is scared,
perhaps today the entire sky will tear open
and engulf his remaining life…

He is disillusioned from fragments of time whistling
through the cracks of the decaying paintless window.
He looks out at the outlet beneath his wall
where rainwater often floods onto the open streets of his life,
his wife’s shawl, his grandchildren’s underclothes
lying caged
like that stale loaf of bread
hanging from the nail in his ancestral wall
wrapped up in a plastic bag
fluttering in the windy loft.
Today, you are stunned to feel the fragrance of this fake reunion
to watch maidens dancing in the singing streets of Krishna Nagar
those bouts of kabadi game from your childhood
the smoking pipe of ganja
your warm erotic mingling with the youthful frame
and today’s cold ashes from an ashram’s bonfire,
the wedding knot that has turned into dreadlocks of annihilation
And all along that stifling odor of the stale bowl of lintel curry
has choked tragic history of your reunion
crotched in that dank corner of the balcony
But Papaji you never ever
left your chosen track
Nor felt lonely
from the divine madness of the great bliss..
You continued without a break
that divine dialogue
with invisible routine of your blessed soul.

Translated from the Nepali by Yuyutsu Sharma

Shreejana Bhandari

Shreejana Bhandari, an emerging Nepali voice, who was born and raised in Kathmandu. She is particularly interested in Nepalese folk lore and legends. Widely travelled, she has conducted Nepali poetry translation workshops at Heidelberg University and has been instrumental in preserving the treasure of Nepali poetry in Nepalese circles.  Currently, she lives in Kathmandu, heads the White Lotus Book Shop, and is working on a manuscript of poems, entitled Papaji & Other Poems soon to be published.