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Two Poems

By Madhusudan Lama

The Street

The street was turned
Into an almost narrow gully
With people thronging
In thousands
Surging forward
Chanting slogans
Singing their pet songs

A little lady in her early teens
Dancing in a polka dot skirt and
Abundant innocence

An ancient baajey
Walking along silently
On his otherwise sombre face
Were wrinkles rippling
With every step he walked
There were horrible maadals
Spanked more horribly
There were sturdy hands
Raising placards
Written by strangers
There were angry voices
Chanting slogans
They hardly understood
Lodged in between
An ignorant celebration and
An unexplained anger
A surreal scenario was
Brewing up
But something more sinister
Was being hatched
On the other side of the fence
All on a sudden
Bullets filled the air
People started dropping
Like an untimely
Shower of hailstorms
Wails shrieks curses
Wounds blood
So many arias
Fluttered without wings
A very badly written opera
Was in full swing
Its whole orchestra playing
After what seemed like an
Epic proportion of time
Guns were finally silent
An eerie hush descended
With a ponderous gloom
The street sobbed the tears of
Strewn dead bodies
Scattered poteys
Foreheads with smirched teekaas
Scattered shoes chappals
Trampled placards
Slogans silenced
A street grotesquely painted
In human blood
The same street
I used to glide on
Whispering sweet nothings
To my dear
The street is no more.



When the season is on
From beyond the dense fog
They arrive in hordes
With inevitable cameras
Costumes in shocking hues
The languages
They have just landed
On a planet unexplored
They make me stand
Beside a cracked wall
Memento of a recent earthquake
They smile
And make me smile
Click click click…
I wonder
If the cameras catch
The difference between our smiles
They barge into
My ‘bhansa kotha’
No permission required
Snooping cameras
Capturing dark surroundings
Of my blackened utensils
They smile bright
Clicking every details
Of my poverty
Their mirth so opulent
They thrust some rupees
In the palm of my kids
Satisfied with the adventure
Waving good-byes
They retreat and disappear
In the dense fog
That always surrounds
My home.

Madhusudan Lama taught literature at the higher secondary level. He is a reputed musician, composer and a lyricist. He has a number of albums. His short stories and poems are published in Nepali journals. His recent publication is a collection of lyrics.


For more stories, read Café Dissensus Everyday, the blog of Café Dissensus Magazine.

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