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