I Shall Not Wish You A Happy New Year

Photo by Youbesh Dhaubhadel

Its 2077, the Nepali New Year. Yesterday was New Year’s Eve. The city that wouldn’t be able to sleep due to the lights, music, and people are devoid of the very thing. The wind growled a little louder through the empty streets. The asphalt wasn’t made for silence, but it might be a good listener after all.

The dates have been slowly erased from my memory. It’s as though we are living one week to another. It’s just yesterday, today, and tomorrow. That’s all it seems to matter. But the calendars are changing. A new date has come as we watch the sun rays enter through our window panes — locked down.

The question I have is: how shall we greet each other this new year? When I dial the number of my friends, what shall I tell them? When I type messages across the screen, what shall I tell the recipient? The wishes seem to be sucked out, empty like the streets we look upon.

H-A-P-P-Y seems the last word on our lists. Then what shall I fill the void with? Adjectives have run dry as I read news across the world. It started during one Lunar New Year and ravaged the world in 100 days. We have reached another year elsewhere, but the war doesn’t seem to stop. The roads aren’t easy, neither are they defined.

Prized inventory systems have broken down, forecasting has been challenged to it’s bones, political systems are at their brink.

What if, what if, are two words that hit like a hammer. But there are no what ifs. It is just what it is, and what remains is human resilience ricocheting off the walls of history.

What we do know is this will be over. And then what we do know is we must change; what we do know is we cannot forget. We pray to come out not just alive, but also more accountable, understanding, and respectful of the world we must create. The virus has exposed our current world with its demonic fangs ready to pierce through the already thinned skin of humanity.

But demons can be beaten. And we try. Warriors worldwide are armed as we place our faith over science.

Together we try; together we pray; together we survive.

I shall, therefore, not wish you a happy new year, I shall wish you a stronger new year, a wiser new year, a fighter’s new year, a believer’s new year, a knowledgeable new year, a just new year, a more equal new year, a safer new year. A new year we will never again take for granted. And maybe somewhere down the line if we did all these and more, we’d one day again have a happier new year.

Till then, stay safe.

On Inspiration: A Note

When you get to see someone chase their dreams, hear their voice brim with joy or the moments of resignations, you know it’s real, both the person and the dream.

You can almost catch the rhythm of happiness and failure, the moments of pauses in between.

You know how one could love something so real that their blood gushes in it. And you’d come to know that you too are that person – with a different set of dreams that were perhaps put on halt out of fear, shame, or doubt.

You realize if the same red blood can rush into someone else’s veins, then it could flow into you too. Dreams can come pouring out of your eyes, too.

It’s doable. Far from great, but doable.

That to see someone love something so much reminds you how much you love something as much. 

Things I Want To Tell You | A Poem

I want to tell you
that today
there were more vehicles
on the street than yesterday
or the day before,
maybe five or six.

The asphalt wasn’t
made for the silence,
but it poses quite well
for the houses to see.

I want to tell you
that my neighbour across
has a hanging garden
full of purple flowers blooming.

Do they know that every day
I marvel at their flowers
and layered terrace with
an arch that has leaves growing?

I went up to the terrace
and wanted to tell you just these
mundane things.

Strands: Eleven11 Poetry Challenge

The comb would
slide through my black hair.
I’d use a rubber band
to tie it, or a clip to
hold it at the side.

I’m not fond of the mirror,
but my eyes would peek through my glasses
to notice a few strands
now discolored.

A few other strands would fall
over my jacket and stay there for long.
Some other would fall over my slippers
that I have worn all day long.

Some other have decided to
leave themselves over the pillow I rest my
anxious head upon,
others over the study table,
with the silver computer
besides the half open half read novel;
some over the patterned rug, maroon in color.

I can find a strand
over the piano
I haven’t played in a while,
inside the case of the phone
wondering whose number to dial.

A few strand fall off
the jacket into the closet
that has not been opened,
for days right now do not require
special clothes for occasions.

A few other remain
in the teeth of the hair brush
after the ones fallen in the sink
that I decide to throw away
in the bin.

Strands of my hair,
my existence.

I’ve been on the attempt to write one poem a day following the Eleven11 Poetry Challenge by the Word Warriors Nepal. Poems 1-5 were more visual as I made videos out of them, but suddenly I began missing just seeing a poem emerge over my screen. So here is the 6th poem, on the screen to be read in your own pace and voice with a background music only you can hear.

The prompt for day 6 was to write an ode to 20 things I’ve used in the past twenty days. There were many, but here are 20 of them in italics with my attempt to converge them into a poem about strands of hair.