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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

When the Country is in Pain

Ramhari Paudyal

At a time when the country is handicapped
due to the history’s most devastating calamity
Of a time when the country is shivering
by the brutal slaps of mother nature.
When, in a jiffy, our family members got buried before our eyes
Neither could I save nor hold their hands
A stark reality of this foreign settlement.
I could never be in the funeral procession of anyone
I could never participate in the happiness of anyone
I am just staring blankly at the screens of BBC and CNN
The walls of facebook are painted with posts of tremor
I am seeing the beautiful country turn into a ruin
I am watching the tower of belief Dharahara collapsing
Ancient temples and heritage sites turned into ashes
Our self-esteem and our identity wiped out gradually
The old Durbar Square falling down
Krishna Temple standing on a support
The capital of my country -
The concrete kingdom turned into ruin
The crowd running for their lives
Appalling clamour – from the earthquake
Infected of a mental worm – from frequent aftershocks
Save me from the debris – melancholy profound
How can I see the declination of this country?
How can I fathom the destruction of this nation?
When the whole nation is in state of bereavement
When the whole country is disgraced by the beats of devastation
I could not at least save her from falling down
I couldn’t do anything for those who were under the rubble
I could never protect the chastity of my motherland
And I could not at least wipe the tears off her eyes
I have come here in this foreign land for my own self
When the country is in pain
All I can do is just drop my tears from a faraway place
When the country needs my hand
All I am undergoing is a pain within
I have sold myself for my basic needs
Just for a dream that I wanted to be
Forgetting my own farm, my own land
I am nomadic who has lost his way
I am a traveler who has lost his way
I am the one who achieved something losing everything
I have been exposed from this end when I tried to sew the other end
I earned from this hand and lost everything from the other
My precious youth
My priceless moments
My sturdy toil
At a time when the country is looking for me
When the earth is demanding much things
This is a time ripe for everyone to unite
For everyone to gear up
We are just Nepali
To let this country rise again
To let this country smile again
Let us take an oath that we build this country in such a way
That no one can again break it down
Standing on our own feet
On our own meticulous effort.
We have just fallen down
We are just the suppressed ones
We will rise again stronger than the Dharahara tower
We will rise again with our self-esteem and labour
It’s not the time to doubt that the country turns into Haiti
Let’s learn from our past, from our mistakes
Let’s love our motherland
Let’s love our dear nature
Let’s not cross our limit such that the nature gets angry
Let’s follow the building code of conduct
Let’s follow the expert’s design of quake-proof structure.

Belayat (UK)
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Translated by Jayant Sharma