Krishna Prasai (Nepal)
President, Jara Foundation
Poet, Travel Writer, Storywriter
A postgraduate in Nepali Literature and Sociology, Krishna
Prasai made his debut in writing in 1975 with the publication of his poems in Jhapa-based periodical Suryodaya. Originally from Dhaijan, Jhapa and presently a resident of Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Mr. Prasai edited Nepali Samasamayik Kavitahroo, an anthology of contemporary Nepali poetry when he was just 24 years old and exhibited a rare literary talent he possessed.
Till date, the works Mr. Prasai has published include Gham Nabhayeko Bela (poems), Ghamko Barsha (Zen poems in Nepali, English, and Korean, later translated into Sinhalese, Hindi, Burmese and Bengali), Prakshepan (stories), Anubhootika Chhalharoo (travel essays) and many other works published separately in periodicals.
Mr. Prasai has also edited Chhariyeka Kehi Prishtha (essays) and three other works, besides translating one book. Mr. Prasai is basically known for his Zen poetry and poetry rooted in local Nepali epistemology. Till this date, he has been awarded with Yogi Naraharinath Award, Dharanidhar Koirala Award, UNFPA Essay Prize etc. He is the Chairman of Jara Foundation, and Treasurer of Devkota Lu-Xun Academy, a literary organization. He is also associated with Rotary International.
Also a stakeholder with several other literary organizations, Mr. Prasai has got his works translated into several languages like English, Korean, Sinhala, Hindi, Assamese, German, Burmese, Bengali, Marathi, Guajarati, Arabic,Thai,Bulgerian,Arabic, Tamil, Romanian, Philippine, Spanish, Italian, Serbian, Uzbekistan, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Russian He has visited coordinated literary and cultural events on behalf of Nepali delegations to countries like India, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Burma, Thailand, Bhutan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, Sri Lanka, UAE on literary and personal missions. He has also hosted several groups of writers visiting Nepal from Korea, Japan, India, Burma, Srilanka,UAE,Bangladesh and China. His contributions towards the expansion of Nepali literature into the international arena have always been commendable.
UPON THE HIMALAYAS
Sonam from the village of Sailung
Like Mingma from Miyan
And Tasi, Tsering and Angrita
Have been living in slopes in the Himalayas
Growing amid yaks and meadows.
Many songs are sung
In this part of the world.
Who says all that the Himalayas have
Are songs of sadness alone?
Brush aside the Valmiki rain
That occasionally gets the region drenched!
Barring a short cadence of the glacier
Even the fields and the farmhands send
Whistles of joy here.
Always from underneath the snow
Burning embers burst
Raising all heat they have at once
And thawing the entire cold, hiding it among the mountain slopes
The chilly wind
When it reaches the Gandeev cowshed
Turns into a warm cool breeze.
Why should the mountains sing
Songs of turmoil?
Like other celebrated hymns
Om Mane Peme Hum too is a tune of this land
Where, in care of the meditating, incarnate monks
The poles and the prayer flags
Have always been waking the faithful ones
In the incessant, uniform music emanating from the monasteries
There resounds the Sikharini tune of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.
There is no trouble on the Himalayas
As others normally think.
At times famine visits the mountains
As do the tourists
And when it finds impotent for anything
Recedes, towards the beleaguered plains.
Atop the hills are villages like Soler and Miyan
Innumerable in number
The villages drink and get inebriated
With the original liquor from Marcha
In various colourful pretexts of combatting chill.
Though it has such additions
To keep itself joyful all the time
Tell, if any stranger asks anything about it:
What is identity: name, surname, clan-name and caste
In the Brahmarshi law of the mountains
That stands with its own pristine laws of the friendly mountains
As top of the world’s Sumeru summit,
Where Death itself withers in a height
Where its Saligram Civilization thrives
Where it dissolves in its loftiness
All burden of its majestic height!
There stands at places
The pristine crown of the world
Tell everyone: I am the omniscient dweller of the same cosmos!
This much is enough to assert your eternal identity
Upon these snow-filled mountains.
Higher than citizenship is your Bhagavat Land!
There is no cause for your to stammer
In telling, you are domicile to an unattainable height
And are on top of everyone
On the forehead of my nation.
Saligram : A divine stone, emblematic of purity and permanance
Cutting across all my silences,
She once asked me her worth in entirety,
Stirring the whole of my heart.
She entered my house
As do the radios, and the televisions
At a reified time in a city-culture, when you buy everything.
She perhaps entered my house as a commodity.
She differs from a purchased stuff in that
She has the right to force her will.
She is licensed,
To transcend the limit, and mount upon me,
Time and again
As a horse rider.
I cannot resist
Any of her such willful pranks,
Nor can I frown, and excommunicate her,
Merely because of her tomfoolery.
I cannot pass prohibitory orders, either.
I am doomed to be an elephant
Time and again,
For, her decrees are immune to every law
With innocence or with reason,
She does whatever is forbidden,
And eats whatever is banned.
At times, I need to talk wrong to mean the right.
Doomed am I, perhaps;
I cannot prove her inept, and punish!
If you haven’t inferred
That her crying is a weakness of mine
Let me tell you, she is none
But my daughter, forty years younger to me!
My Prabidhi, seven years old!
I cherish the smiles of my creation
In her grins!
I love her asking me questions
With pen and paper in her hands
The sudden slashing of my age,
And my sudden return
Into her babyhood.
MAN AND GOD
Just a while ago
Man rang the temple-bell
And woke up God
Who was fast asleep inside
God is quite sluggish;
If the bell is missed
He will sleep for eons;
If there is none to shake Him up
He will slumber like Kumbhakarna.
For waking him up
All he needs, after all, is a man.
I recall man’s history:
Man makes his God himself
As per his own wish
And consecrates Him in temples, mosques and churches
And offers all heaps of his daily woes
To the same God he makes.
Man knows how to appease God
With faiths of numerous hues every morning ;
He wishes for the interminable flame of belief
To keep burning deep inside his self
But then, to everyone’s dismay
Or surprise, say
The lifeless stone enters the shrine only once
But man enters time and again, living yet like a stone
And worships the inanimate stone.
Tell me, yourself:
Should I consider stone or man
As my God?
Should I search for God inside the temple
I am impatient to meet God.
MY VILLAGE: A PLANET BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES
The sorcerer has still been figuring destiny
Counting kernels of rice,
Checking if something has gone wrong,
When the sun was on the rise, or fall.
Or, if some items lacked in the Gothdhup , last year!
Cocks had been offered to Sagune and Sime-Bhume ,
Cash offers made too, to appease evil air,
And promises to deities fulfilled.
Budhibaju is our family deity, after all.
What a spell could it be, at such an age?
Sikari presses hard, if ever it attacks
The Banjhankri has always been sweeping
Dakini and Sakini away, with rice kernels
The ghouls of the dead still haunt the village.
Such whispers are still rampant here.
I won’t simply believe your claims, Sainla Dai!
That, development has reached the village –
a place, where time is still computed
With the sun’s position above,
And where times are either propitious and evil,
a place, where some mantras have to be chanted
To effuse grains for good stars;
still, a cock has to crow
for my village to wake up!
“The ship denied me a ride
Not because I was heavy
But he says
I look beautiful in Korea
Even without an make-up. ”
I wrote her back—
“I am ardently missing you!
I am the same old Saraksan of yours.
I would love to see you
My dear Sagarmatha
Albeit only for once!”
Amid a madding crowd,
A woman, partly naked
Was shivering to the core
From top to the toes.
Seated on the fringe of a modern road
She was constantly letting
The puppies suck her sunken breast
Taking them for her kids.
She was perhaps remembering
Her own children she had suckled
From her pent-up breasts
But had now gone far, far away
Leaving her alone, behind.
BEHOLD! THE SKY IS BURNING!
The earth still abounds
In flames far more intense than fire
No one is aware:
That the same individual is dying
Many times in a single day
Water is sizzling in the spring
In front of every eye
Soil and stones are turning into hot embers,
Burning like jutted pine-barks
To everyone’s dismay
Even waves are aflame in the oceans
Iron is sizzling like lava
The mountain is spreading all over the sky
As hot, burning embers
The whole of the firmament is ablaze
And the world is fast moving towards an end
No human is safe anywhere
In the sky
Or in the collective Samadhi of flowers.
When the sky itself has burnt
The ocean has sizzled
And the earth has been gutted
From which mother’s womb on earth
Could one procure a flower bud
That has escaped this destiny
Of getting reduced to ashes?