Sayau thunga fulka haami is the beginning line of the new Nepali national anthem, which translates into English as 'we are the bunch of hundred flowers.' Garo chha, yaar translates as 'it is difficult, friend.'




This Country, This Republic

 

Five in the morning, it is time to wake up and be a better

Person. Brush your teeth, clip your toenails, be level-headed

And joyous, fall down on your knees every time you hear

The holy national anthem blaring out from the loudspeakers—

The bland sayau thunga fulka haami that compares you

With flowers—bow down and lick the sugary sewage,

The Marxist-Leninist drainage of your glorious Republic.  

All your friends are abroad. Ask them how their lives

Are in that pine-scented, maple-strewn land of multicolor

Dreams. “Garo chha, yaar,” they’ll say, their display pictures

In Facebook flashing their beer-bellies and GUCCI sun-shades.

When they return, they’ll bring home goodies—imported candies,

Duty-free cigarettes, cotton shirts in plastic bags of Qatar Airlines.

You’re in your thirties, homeless, always shifting from one

Rented flat to another, always waiting to kiss the lotus feet

Of the mysterious Godot-like democracy. You walk

From suburbs to the city’s center, stop and look at the façade

Of Singha Durbar—the bourgeois palace stares back ruefully

At you. What can you do but roll along the street that leads

You to the entrance of this Victorian palace? Be wise, and roll on,

Without disturbing the Moloch-like statue of the Shah King, the great

Campaigner of unification, the founding father of modern Nepal,

The messiah of this holy land, this malformed, yet supremely

Glorious Republic.

 

 

Bibek Adhikari





Poetry by Bibek
Read 202 times
Written on 2019-02-01 at 13:14

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text



Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
We agree with Larry, Bibek: this is sharp and bitter! And that's why we like it. It's like strong coffee, a wake-up call.

The character drifting from flat to flat is particularly intriguing, especially for contrasts we imagine between his or her life and the stories presented on Facebook. These differences sharpen the poem too :>)
2019-02-05


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
Sharply, bitterly observed. A question: how many of those who leave come home?
2019-02-01