Manprasad Subba: Translated by Manprasad Subba

Born on September 3rd, 1952, Manprasad Subba is a Nepali poet from Darjeeling, India. He has nine volumes of poetry and a novel to his credit. He has co-authored a book of critical essays, and has edited two journals in Nepali and English, as well as two commemorative books. He has also translated Nepali and Hindi poetry, and fiction books into English.

Some of his books of Nepali poetry are translated into English, Hindi and Maithili, and are published by Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, and other publishers. Many of his poems have been translated into major Indian languages.

Subba has represented many Indian and Nepali poets and writers at national and international summits and seminars. He taught English literature at the Vidyasagar Higher Secondary School and Bijanbari Degree College in Darjeeling.

(These poems are translated from the original Nepali into English by the poet himself.)


Introducing My Country to a Tourist

He was keen to see the map of my country,
And I handed him a Peepal leaf.
He looked astounded and I asked,
‘Doesn’t it look like a heart?’

He wanted to know the boundaries of my nation,
And I pointed toward
The birds flying far-off.

He asked me about the history of my land,
I, in turn, asked him about
The beginning of the earth and water.

He wanted to listen to the song of my country,
And I asked him to hear the cocks crowing at dawn;
The Pigeons cooing, rain humming,
Babies crying and children giggling.

He was eager to know the faith of my land
And I shared with him
our ancient love stories.

He asked me about the language of my country,
I, in turn, asked him about
The language of tears and laughter.

पर्यटकलाई मेरो देश चिनाउँदै

उसले मेरो देशको मानचित्र हेर्न माग्यो।
मैले यौटा पिपलको पात देखाइदिएँ।
उ छक्क पर्यो। मैले भनें –
‘मुटुजस्तै छैन र यो ?’

अनि उसले मेरो देशका
सिमानाहरू जान्न चाह्यो।
मैले टाढामा उडिरहेका चराहरू देखाइदिएँ।

मेरो देशको इतिहास सोध्दा
जवाबमा उसलाई मैले
माटो र पानीको इतिहास सोधेँ ।

उसले मेरो देशको गीत पनि सुन्न चाह्यो।
मैले भनें – सुन्नू बिहानै भाले बासेको
परेवाहरू घुरेको अनि पानी झमझम परेको
नानीहरू रोएको / फेरि नानीहरू नै हाँसेको ।

जब उसले मेरो देशको
आस्थाहरू बुझ्न खोज्यो
मैले उसलाई प्राचीन प्रेमका कथाहरू सुनाइदिएँ ।

मेरो देशको भाषाबारे सोध्दा
जवाबमा उसलाई मैले
रुवाई र हँसाइको भाषा सोधेँ।

The Earth

The earth is lifted high up
not only on the rising hills and mountains
but even on the small leaves of our ordinary conversations,
sharing our simple pleasures and pains.

On the new leaves of subtle feelings,
the earth rests delicately there too.

The earth is never heavier
than a plate of rice, on the hand of someone starving.

Mother Teresa’s frail hands
had lifted the earth
many times like a doll.

It is not too big to be embraced,
not bigger than the nipple of a mother’s breast.

Each dose of medicine tells us,
how loving the earth is.
The feet that return to walk
after several days of flood
knows, how sweet is the touch of earth!

No need of alphabets
to write Earth.
Just touch the blank sheet of sky
with the point of your pen
and from there the earth grows and expands
filling our hearts,
and spreading around our consciousness.
Or just put a hyphen in the sky
for it to grows and grows on the horizon.
This is how the earth appears in our vision.


अग्ला उठेका पहाड-पर्वतमा मात्र होइन
ससाना दु:ख-सुख बाँडिने
हाम्रा सामान्य बातचितका ससाना पातहरूमा पनि
धरती उचालिएको हुन्छ माथिमाथि।

सानो अनुभूतिको आँकुरामा पनि
हलुकै थामिएर बसिरहन सक्छ।

भनौं भने यो धरती
यौटा भोकोले खान पाएको
एक थाल भातभन्दा गह्रौं हुँदैन।

मदर टेरिजाको झिनो हातले
कैय्योंपल्ट उचालेर खेलाएको हो यो धरतीलाई।

अँगालोमै नअटाउने बृहत होइन यो।
दूधमुखे नानीले चुसिरहेको
आमाको स्तनका मुन्टाभन्दा ठूलो पनि होइन यो।

रोगीको एकएक खोरक दबाईले बताउँछ
कि धरती कतिसम्म मायालु हुन्छ।

धेरै दिनको डुबाउपछि
बल्ल धरती टेक्न पाएका
ती पाइलाहरूलाई थाह छ
कि धरतीको स्पर्श कति मीठो हुन्छ !

धरती लेख्नलाई कुनै भाषा नै पनि चाहिंदैन।
बस्, नलेखिएको सादा आकाशमा
कलमको टुप्पोले छोइदिनु मात्र पर्छ
त्यहींबाट धरती बढ्दै-बढ्दै मनभरि भिज्छ
अनि हाम्रो चेतनाभरि फैलन्छ।
अर्थात् यौटा हाइफन् जस्तै सानो रेखा कोरिदिए पनि हुन्छ
त्यही रेखा बढ्दै-बढ्दै क्षितिज निर्माण हुन्छ
अनि धरती
हाम्रो आँखाभरि भरिन्छ …

At Night

A night is cold like iron.
At night, a road is unconscious.
By the road there is a naked tree,
Standing in a strange dance posture.
In this chill

The night is completely detached and indifferent.
And the road unconscious
Only the two are active here:
The masochist tree and the sadist chill
How abominable it is!

The chill comes with a thorny whip
And strikes the naked tree

These are the sounds of
The loud breath of beastly lovemaking.

Ah! How the tree
Responds excitedly
To every stroke
And then lost in an orgasm.

Oh! This perversion!
But the road has been unconscious as ever.
And the indifference of the night is suffocating!


फलाम जस्तो चिसो रात
रातमुनि लमतन्न अचेत सडक
सडकछेउनेर नाङ्गो रूख
जो छ उभिराखेको यस्तो ठिहीमा
एक अनौठो नृत्यमुद्रामा।

रात छ नितान्त निरपेक्ष
सडक मेनिन्जाइटिजले अचेत
केवल दुइजना यहाँनेर सक्रिय छन् –
म्यासोकिस्ट रूख अनि स्याडिस्ट ठिही
(कत्ति घिनलाग्दो! छि:!}

काँढादार कोर्रासित आउँछ ठिही
अनि वर्षाउँछ रूखको नाङ्गो जीउमा –
मानौं यो हो पाशविक सम्भोगको
अनियन्त्रित हाँपिएको आवाज !

आह ! कस्तरी यो नाङ्गो रूख पनि
अत्यन्त रोमान्चित भइउठ्छ कोर्राको हरेक चोटमा
हुँइक…हुँइक…रोमान्चित् रोमान्चित्
अनि पुग्छ अर्ग्याज्मको बेहोशीमा !

उफ् ! यो विकृत स्थिति !
सडक तर सँधै अचेत छ
अनि रातको चिसो बेवास्ता
असाध्य अस्पत्लाग्दो छ।



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