Suffered I’ve long enough, by the felony of my fate,
Time had taken chances, many, to disimprove my state,
But the fire in my chest is not just a tiny spark,
For I’ve got the dreams engraved, a beat that’s stark,
Strong I’d made my heart and prepared is the dart,
A determination as stronger as ever to make a new start.




‘Isn’t it beautiful’, she asked me.

‘Yes dear, it is indeed’, I replied her. There was sunshine onto her cheek glistening like a river between beautiful meadows, coming through the small pores of semitransparent festoons near the gate.  The flower she held in her hand was a jasmine, a dead one but full of perfume. And, yes whenever I pass through the garden of Mr. Shah, I just can’t ignore the fragrance of jasmine in his garden. It reminds me of her. She was a jasmine herself. Beautiful, like the midnight sky, full of mysteries yet so enchanting.

Two years of our friendship changed into an inseparable bonding the day I put a ring into her glass of beer. She was surprised. She was somewhat amazed, little confused. However, she jumped into me as if she too was longing for this moment. She kissed me everywhere with tears in her eyes. ‘I knew, I knew baby, this moment would come, and I used to dream of it. I never wanted more than this, dear, nothing more.’ smooching into my cheeks she was crying. It was a moment one would feel just like when the sun comes out for the first time after month-long clouds and overcast. Nothing was more appealing than this moment. Everyone wishes this moment at least once in their lifetime.

‘Love has limits, limits that makes us harder and weaker or limits that makes us softer and stronger. I chose to be softer and kinder, be like a soap or like a butter.’ She would terminate every one of her lecture with a giggle. We met in a bookshop, where we both turn out to be purchasing the last piece of the same book. Well, I let her take it but she insisted that she would pay half and I ought to pay another half so that we could share the book. We agreed to meet every Saturday in a coffee shop nearby the bookshop.

It was midnight and I was about to start a new book. It was my two hundredth book. She had already finished three chapters of the book. She had a bookmark in the book; it was a jasmine but all dried up. There was no any fragrance in it. It was dead. I couldn’t think more than our meeting. I could not start even a page. She came in a blue kurta salwar with a side bag. She was looking nothing like old nineties Bollywood actress but more like a serene nature where there are trees, a sun, clear sky, river, and flowers. A perfect art. ‘Here, take it. It is nice. Loved the start.’ She handed me the book. She sat in front of me, put down her bag. I ordered coffee. ‘I don’t have any money right now.’ She said. This treat, on me. Next time you pay, ok.’ I said. She smiled. We sat there for one hour and talked about books, about war, about politics and everything that was going around but we forgot ourselves.

It was Saturday again and I can’t even finish a page this time. Every time, I opened the book, I was lost in her thoughts. ‘Hey there, how are you?’ she was already there. ‘Hello, I’m fine, thank you. And you?’, she was looking gorgeous. This time, she came in a frock. Frock !, I mean who would wear frock in those days, they were out fashioned. She had very bad taste in dress. I handed her the book. She opened it. She looked me as if I had committed a big crime. ‘Sorry, I couldn’t finish, or just say I didn’t even start.’ I apologized. ‘No, it’s not about how much you read?’ she pulled a long sip of coffee; it was served the moment I was staring at her and I had just realized that there was coffee to drink.  ‘Then, why are you angry?’, this was my expression and she got it. ‘You folded the page, how cruel can you be !’ she replied and I couldn’t resist my laugh. ‘Better than your bookmark. Seriously, a jasmine, a flower?’ I just want to win over her argument. ‘No, I found it on the road, is there any better place you know to keep it other than the book. You are such an…, leave it, I’m going.’ She put the book into her bag and we got out of the coffee shop.

There was a rush outside the coffee shop. ‘The army captured three rebels.’ An old man was talking to the shopkeeper. Most of them were closing their store and it was just two o’ clock. ‘Peace is still undefined. Isn’t it Rupesh? You try to hold it in your fist but it slips in between the war of your fingers. Our futile dreams are the reason for everything. Politics trade our dreams for peace and peace cannot exist without war. What an irony! ’ She giggled after she finished saying everything.

War was at its peak. Nothing was interesting. No late night parties, no outing, nothing was there to do for us. Even the TV was filled with the war updates and the pessimist news. Therefore, the best thing we could do were the books. Now that I had met Nikita, everything seemed good for me. ‘We had to do nothing with the war. It will end when each side will exhaust.’ I used to say.

We continued to meet. When the world around me was suffering from worst of its nightmare, I had my most beautiful dream. Nikita was my dream. When the world around me was declining its hope, I was inclining up towards hope. The times of our visits multiplied. We started meeting regularly. We shared books, moments, smiles, tears and above all, compassion. We were friends, friends forever, but for me, she was more than a friend. A year full of war, hate and tears was the most blessed year for me, all because of Nikita.

It was just like our regular visit. We sat down for coffee. I talked of war, politics, books but Nikita was silent that day. She rarely uttered a word. ‘What’s bothering you? Are you fine?’ I asked her. She didn’t reply. She had tears all over her eyes. I could see her face. She was trying to be strong holding her tears but the damned tears, she couldn’t do anything. ‘My father is kidnapped by the rebels. He is a correspondent for the local newspaper. It’s been a month. We haven’t heard anything from him. And this was from today’s news.’ She wept out everything. She showed me a newspaper. I could do nothing. I didn’t even find proper words to say to her. A few days later, I heard the death of her father. I did everything to support her thereafter. But I lost the courage to express my love towards her. Still, we continued to meet.

Mr. Shah who lived next door to us had a garden full of flowers but jasmine always intrigued me. I find Nikita in the fragrance. ‘Mr. Shah, would you mind if I could take some jasmine from you?’ One day I asked him to gift Nikita. ‘What’s it for, boy ?’, a  lonely retired old man asked me. ‘It’s my secret Mr. Shah, but I can assure you, it is for someone beautiful.’ I told him. ‘Then my boy, you better show her the garden instead.’ With a grin on his face, he told me as if he knows every little thing about this earth. ‘How do you know it’s for ‘her’?’ I asked him. He just smiled and didn’t say anything. I brought Nikita in Mr. Shah’s garden. She was very happy. Mr. Shah pulled out a mattress, brought two-beer glass and a bottle of beer. He put them near the jasmine plant over the green Chinese grass. ‘Look after my house until I’m back, my boy’ he asked me. ‘Ok Mr. Shah I’ll’, I nodded.

‘Isn’t it beautiful’, she asked me.

‘Yes dear, it is indeed’, I replied her. She was looking at the jasmine with a dead jasmine in her hand. I put the ring on her glass of beer. Two years of friendship and I was proposing her between the most perfumed places on earth. She was my girlfriend now, officially and I was the happiest man. It was getting late and asked her if I could walk her down to her house. However, she denied. She kissed me, then took her lips near my earlobe and whispered, ‘I learned happiness from you. Thank you.’ She bided farewell.

I waited all night in Mr. Shah’s house but he didn’t come home. I slept there that night. Next morning I went to get the newspaper and the news tore me apart like a paper, ‘A girl died while saving an old man in a crossfire… An old man is in ICU and no hopes for him.’ Happiness never comes alone.

Mr. Shah is dead. I still sit in this garden, pass through this garden, look after the jasmines. I am still waiting for something I don’t know, caring garden for him and for Nikita.

Half-Burnt Cigarette

I was alive the day I was burnt with her desire,
She was intoxicating me and so do I was,
Breathing every molecule of air she was breathing through me,
I was taking her high and diving deep down into her dreams,
No, our dreams… or that’s what I thought.
The movement of her fingers was tickling,
And every thrust tossed away all the remains of my existence,
We were like… inside each other,
Sharing what we have,
As if, our souls were obsessed with each other,
As if the grey-white thing in our head was slowly disappearing,
As if, the sun was on me,
And I was tightly embracing it as if my entire life was made for the moment.
I know when she mended me between her lips like a filament of hibiscus,
I poured every ounce of happiness I had into her thorax, down between into her lungs,
I thought it was my salvation,
I thought my love never gonna reach its brink, it was for forever,
I thought the thoughts never gonna fathom out the depth of our love,
Yes, I thought all these things,
Before the day, she put me away like a half-burnt cigarette into an ashtray.

Words or Her?

I had her,

Wrapped up in my grammar,

Cuddled up with my pen,

Muddled up with my thoughts,

And laid down on my poetry.


Now I feel void in my thought,

Emptiness! writing is naught,

What have I lost ?

Words or  Her!



पुरै दस वर्ष पछि हाम्रो भेट भयो | सुरुमा त उ होइन कि जस्तो लाग्यो | तर एकछिन सम्म हेर्दा म पक्का भए उ नै हुनुपर्छ भनेर | उसले पनि मलाई देखि | केहि बोलिन | नदेखे जस्तै गरि | उ कुनै एक बृद्ध मानिस संग थिई | सायद उसको बुवा हुनुपर्छ | ‘ भो, बुवा अर्का पसलमा हेरिस्योस न | यहाँ त छैन मैले खोजेको जस्तो|’ उसले बुवा तिर हेरी र जाने सङ्केत गरि | ‘अघि मनपर्यो भन्थी, के भो फेरी यसलाई | हुन्छ साहुजी म अरु ठाउमा पनि हेरेर आउछु नि, खोजेको भेटिन्छ कि !’ उसका बुव़ा ले भने | ‘हजुर, भैहाल्छ नि !’ मेरो साथीले व्यापारिक मुस्कान छाड्यो | दशैँ बिदा मा घर गएको बेला म साथि को पसल मा अक्सर बस्न जान्थे | उसको घडीको पसल थियो | दिन भरि बसेर गफ गर्ने र हसि मजाक गर्ने बाहेक हाम्रो केहि काम थिएन | ‘त्यहिँ हाम्रो टोलका साहुजी कि छोरी हो | अस्ति भर्खर अमेरिका बाट आएकी | तैले त चिन्छ्स होला नि रमेश ? तैले पढेको स्कुलमा पढेको रे ?’ तिनीहरु तिर हेरिराको हुनाले रुपेशले मलाई पुरै डिटेल बतायो | ‘अह, चिन्दिन !’ मैले उसलाई नचिने जस्तै गरे | र रुपेशले मलाई उसको पुरै बेली बिस्तार लगायो | मन मनै हासो पनि लाग्दैथियो | तर एक वाक्यले मेरा कान ठाडा भए | ‘ दशैँ को लागि घर आएकी र उसको यो मङ्सिरमा बिहे हुदैछ रे | अनि फेरी अमेरिका जान्छे |’ अघि सम्म निर्बाध आईरहेको हासो एक्कासी घाटीमा अड्कियो | म त्यहाँ बाट उठे | केहि भएको छैन भन्दै मन लाई सम्झाउन थाले | र हुनु पनि किन |


मैले उसलाई दिन दिनै एसेमेस गर्न थाले | उ संग मेरो नम्बर थिएँन त्यै भएर रिप्लईमा, सधै, तिमि को हौ भन त् भनेर भन्थी | धेरै दिन पछी मैले उसलाई आफ्नो नाम बताए | हामि धेरै जसो एसएमएस मै कुरा गर्थ्यौ | कहिले जोक त् कहिले कुनै भनाई पठाउथे | रिप्लाई मा सधै थ्यांक्यु र स्मईली मात्र आउथ्यो | लगभग महिनौ सम्म हामि एसएमएस मै कुरा गर्थ्यौ | उसको बर्थडे होस वा कुनै अरु पर्व म मेसेज गरिहल्थ्ये | र उसको स्वाभाविक ‘थ्यान्क्यु’ आउथ्यो रिप्लाईमा | धेरै दिन सम्म यस्तै गरे | एक दिन फोन गरे | उसले सुरुमा चिनिन मलाई अथवा नाचिने जस्तै गरि | मैले उ संग फोन मा कुरा गरे | त्यो दिन पछि भने फेरी फोन गरिन |

फेसबुकको अकाउन्ट बनाउने बित्तिकै उसलाई नै मेरो पहिलो साथि बनाएको थिए | त्यस पछी त् के थियो, घन्टौ सम्म साइबर मा बसेर उसँग च्याट गर्न थाले | यस्तै मा एक दिन उसलाई भेट्न बोलाए | नजिकै को मन्दिर को भजन मण्डली बस्ने ठाउमा बसेर मा उसलाई कुर्दै थिए | एक छिन पछी उसको फोन आयो | मैले स्कुल पछी उसलाई भेटेको पहिलो चोटी थियो त्यो | उ स्कुलमा जति सुन्दर थिई, त्यो भन्दा अझ सुन्दर भएकी थिई | बैसले उसलाई पुरै ढाकेको थियो | उ प्रत्येक कोण बाट कुनै अपजस नभएकी सुन्दर युवती देखिन्थि | ‘ हें, हेल्लो, निकै बेर लायौ त ? कता जाने अब ?’ मैले हात मिलाउदै उसलाई सोधे | ‘ अ, जाम थियो | त्यस माथि गाडी पनि ढिला पाए | उ त्या बसौ |’ उसले मन्दिर बाहिरको पिपल को चौतारा देखाई र हामि त्यहि गएर बस्यौ | त्यो दिन त्यस्तै पढाई का कुरा कानी भए , अनि स्कुलका सम्झन लायक कुरा सम्झेर मजाले हस्यौ |

त्यस पछि हाम्रो भेट भएन तर फोन मा भने कुरा हुन्थ्यो | उ प्लस टु सकेर युएस ट्राइ गर्दै थिइ | र उ जानु भन्दा केहि दिन अगाडी मैले उसलाई फोन गरेर प्रपोज पनि गरेको थिए | मैले उसलाई भनेको थिए, ‘ प्रभा, तिमी उ त्यो जुन जस्तै चमक छुन कुनै एक चरी जस्तै उडदै छौ | यो रुखलाई त् बिर्सदैनौ नि ? यो रुख को लागि तिमि नै सधै प्रिय हुनेछौ |’

‘तिमीलाई पनि म बिर्सुला र रमेश ! यस्तो पनि सोच्न सक्छौ है तिमी | तिमी ले मलाई अझ बुझेकै रहेनछौ | यो चरी लाई सधै तिम्रै छाहारी प्यारो हुनेछ |’ उसका यी शब्दले उ जाने दुख भन्दा बढी कुसी दिएका थिए त्यो दिन | तर गएको केहि महिना पछी उ मलाई इगनोर गर्न थालि | मेसेज को कुनै रिप्लाई पनि आउथेन | उसले मलाई सायद भुलिसकेकी थिइ | बिना कुनै रिप्लाईका ‘हाई’ ‘हलो‘ ले मात्र उ संगको च्याट बक्स भरिएको थियो |


धेरै पछी उसले मालाई रिप्लाई गरि |

‘हे वाई आर यु सो ओब्सेसड विथ मी | दिमाग खराब गरिसक्यौ यार | बच्चा बेलाको कुरा लिएर अहिले सम्म ल्यांग ल्यांग गरिरा’छौ | प्लिज लिभ मी अलोन !’

एक बर्ष पनि पुरा नभई उ बच्चा बाट म्याच्युर भैसकेकी थिइ | म भने बच्चा नै भएको थिए | त्यो दिन मैले केहि रिप्लाई गर्न सकिन |

धरै पछी मैले उसलाई ‘थ्यान्क्यु’ भनेर रिप्लाई गरे | त्यस पछी उसले मलाई ब्लक गरि |

मैले मेसेज पठाएको दिन उसको ब्रेकप भएको रहेछ | तर उसको अफेयर रहेको र ब्रेकप भएको यो कुरा मैले धेरै पछी थाहा पाएको थिए | त्यस पछी हाम्रो भेट न शब्दमा भयो न नै अरु कतै |


‘ सर भेट्नु भो त राम्रो घडी | कुनै मन पर्यो त् ?’ फर्कदै गरेका बुवा छोरी देखेर मेरो साथि पसल बाटै करायो | फेरी तिनीहरु पसल मै आए |

‘खै बाबु यसलाई कुनै मन परेन | त्यै अघि हेरेको राम्रो थियो त त्यै देखाउनुस त |’ उसका बुवाले सुरु मा आउदा हेरेको घडी मागे |

‘ओ, हेलो, तपाईको नाम के हो ?’ मैले उसलाई बोलाए | उसका बुवाले मलाई हेरे | मेरो साथी ले पनि मलाई हेर्यो | मेरो साथिले फेरी उसका बुवालाई हेरेर हास्यो | उसका बुवाले मलाई हेरे | ‘ ए, उसको नाम …’ बुवालाई बीच मा रोक्दै उ बोलि ‘किन चाहियो र हजुर लाई नाम, नाम ले घडी मा केहि फरक पर्छ र |’

‘होइन बिल बनाउनु पर्यो त्यहि भएर |’ म मुसुक्क हासे | पहिला एक अर्का लाई हेर्दा शितल लाग्ने आखा आज एक अर्का का आखा पोल्दै थिए |

उसका बुवा स्कुटर स्टार्ट गर्दै थिए |

मैले उसको हातमा बिल थमाउदै भने, ‘घडी लिन फर्कनु भो, भोलि अरु कुरा पनि पहिल्यै हेरेको छान्नुपर्ला नि | बिचार गरेर निर्णय गर्ने गर्नुस |’

उ केहि बोलिन शिर निहुराएर स्कुटर पछाडि बसी |


Who sail along the clouds like my heart does every time,
Who has a secret crush for own-self like I do have on mine,
Who live for the tears and die for the smile,
And who, for the happiness, in the solitude, runs a mile!