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THE NEPALESE REALITY (Satis Shroff)

All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Could not put Nepal together again.

Nepalese men and women
Look out of their ornate windows,
In west, east, north and south Nepal
And think:
A decade long war between the Maoists and Royalists
Has come to an end
We have suffered so much.
So many innocent men, women, boys and girls
Have been slain by bullets,
From both sides.

Kal Bhairab seems to be pacified,
For Vishnu has crept to his bed of serpents.
He peers at the unfurling scenario:
A new interim government,
A new constitution,
More amendments.
He hisses with a sulk:
‘What can they do better than I?’

When aristocrats, chauvinists, egoists and phallocrats
Were in power,
The underprivileged castes and tribes,
Women and children,
Went always with empty hands.
A new revolution and democracy is in the land,
But have the people changed their minds?
Or are they still conscious of their caste, birth and tribe?
Of their earlier prejudices, hatred and malice
Towards the dalits, the have-nots?

Our fervent prayers have been heard.
The people are rejoicing in the streets of Kathmandu.
May there be ‘everlasting’ peace again in Nepal,
Though ‘everlasting peace’ has become inflationary.
Rejoice and take reality as it is.
We have no choice,
But to lay our hopes on the fragile signatures
Of two protagonists,
In the Shadow of the Himalayas.

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