Nepali Kalasahitya Dot Com Pratishthan


Dolindra Prasad Sharma

A Lattice Window: Plinth to Observe the Whole Nation

With a wake of dawn as I begin my day meandering, dews glitter like a bead of pearl on the plants. It seems the fire, to keep its potent nature, is emitting its smog on the snow capped mountains and the high hills nearby. The cool breeze caressing me on the way remains inexplicable. A man or two appear on the scene. Vehicles sprinkle the dust of the road mixing with their smog to the eyes of the pedestrians. A question arises- Where are the broomers bought by the metropolis spending millions of rupees?

As I came back home as usual after some exercises I caught a sight of a national daily newspaper. An article Bibek Birodhi Pathashala (A School against Conscience) by Yadab Devkota caught my eyes. As I completed reading it no enthusiasm remained to take tea and eatables: 
“The act of weakening the nation, selling rivers and rivulets of it, acting as subservient to the foreigners to enjoy the power and authority of the state, importing the goods from other countries weakening potentiality of production, all these activities are not made in a hut of hinterland but from the Singhadurbar itself. Those who reign in Singhadurbar are doing it. The act of giving access to the foreigners of sensitive information of the nation and nurturing vested interest has been intensified. Why not only the rulers but also those entitled as administrators change themselves as they take charge of Singhadurbar? What is in the school of Singhadurbar that spoils its own disciples?”
As I was musing on the article, I recalled:
Chhadera Kama Sara, Eka Kama Roji Rahechhu
Yo Deshama Ma Euta, Manish Khoji Rahechhu
Ma Tyahi Naya Bhawisyako Bij Ropi Rahechhu
Yo Deshama Ma Euta, Manish Khoji Rahechhu
(Leaving all the works, I’m selecting a work
In this country I’m looking for a person worth
I’m sowing the seed of the same new future
In this country I’m looking for a person worth.)

This song penned by Bishwonath Prem in the sonorous voice of Shishir Yogi made me thoughtful. I blamed myself. I stroke my head against the wall of Singhadurbar once. My heartbeat pauses for a second when I reach to the West Entrance from the East one via the South Entrance of Singhadurbar. My eyes made round and round of the monument of Prithvi Narayan Shah. The monument that was defamed dangling garland of shoes and spat by some after the dawn of republic, has now become an abode of learning for all Nepalese. As my eyes peep Singhdurbar through the main entrance, the scene appears to be so intolerable that my left hand slaps hard on my right cheek. I had read on the pages of history about the systems prevalent before I was born. As I saw the building made in the Rana regime; known as nightmarish, supported with iron pillars after smearing it by the Republicans I cursed bringing in my mind to those who keep on sending the youth in Muglan being self satisfied after signing Labour Agreement with Malaysia and Japan to make the assured future of the nation spatting venom against the Rana and the Pancha (Kings men).

As I was striding towards Putalisadak a wave of Rara dragged me to Mugu and began speaking to me, “After a year nobody will be compelled to leave the country. All Nepalese can quench their thirst of prosperous life from the spring of prosperity here in Nepal, our Prime Minister had boasted. These days the pristine water of the lake keeps on asking me- What are those, who emerged victorious in the poll chanting Singhadurbar in village to village, doing sitting by the lattice window? Those reigning throne in Singhadurbar have become well off registering the land of Prime Minister’s residence in their name secretly, no? What about those selling Khulamanch (Open space for public gatherings) and consuming it? Our eyes waiting to welcome Singhadurbar in our village got tired. Hasn’t Singhadurbar itself been sold and swallowed? Lest, hasn’t Singhadurbar also been here in our village?”  
I beg your pardon, Rara!

I remain dumbfounded. My lips are smeared with the perversion practiced here. All the realities of mine are transformed into dreams. I am entangled into a string at the confluence of dreams and reality. Problems are here, they are there, the piles of problems after problems are everywhere. Whoever are the sages, they have pierced ear. They are slinging saggy bags. It has been continued from ages. I’m looking for a daring Nepali who can resolve these problems being honest to the hilt, one who can dispose the dirt and dust of perversion into Mechi and Mahakali after sweeping them out with the broom and brush of his self confidence and dignity.

Passing by the walls of Singhadurbar; that should realize the privations and feelings of all, as I reach to Putalisadak I commence pursuing dear Rara with the melodious song of Narayan Gopal; the emperor of voice, opening the You Tube from my mobile phone after picking it from my pocket:
“Yo Mutulai Kasari Samjhai Bujhau
Pir Yo Jindaganiko Sahara Eutai Vayo
Dui Muthi Yo Sas Kahile Chhodi Jane Ho
(How should I convince this heart
Pang only became the companion of this life
When does this two handful of breathing leave this life)

This song of Narayan Gopal in his own words and with the music of Pankaj Sigdel has heard by Singhadurbar; an epitome of the nation, neither in the past nor it listens at present. Would the person whom I am looking for lend ear to it provided that he got chance to be there one day?

I wade into the wave of memory when I had the habit of listening ‘Aakhijyal’ programme in the radio as a youth. I had not fully fathomed the meaning of this word then. It has been long since I comprehended its meaning as a wider perspective to look at a person, society and the nation like observing any object minutely through a telescope.
A window of eyes after eyes! An art! A philosophy!

I have heard somewhere those in authority presenting a lattice window to the foreign dignitaries. The exterior design of this window carved in Bhaktapur is extremely fascinating and the view perceived through it more fascinating and real. Alas! Why the lattice window for looking at my country has never been as such? 

Why that lattice window is wrapped in a fog? The daring one to make it clean is not born or not met? Such thoughts wrestled in my mind.
Lattice window bears the historical importance. In Naradevi of Kathmandu lies Deshya Maru Jhyan (a typical window not available anywhere). Visitors from home and abroad flock there to observe its interior that is as splendid as the lens of a camera. One day as I talked about lattice window with Tejeshwor Babu Gwanga; an expert in culture, he suggested me to visit there once. The thought of installing lattice window might have come in the days when the tradition of using curtains on the window was no more. But these days curtains are commonly used everywhere. The house without curtains these days hints that it has rooms to let. However, the ornamental decoration of the lattice window cannot be compared with the modern curtains.

While exploring the history of Nepal the existence of the lattice window can be traced even long before the ancient civilization. Its existence has been documented in the history from the Lichchhavi Period in the fifth century onward. After the annexation of Baise and Chaubise state into his, Prithvi Narayan Shah preferred Kathmandu as a lattice window for looking at the country.  The place, where the rulers dwell to observe the nation and the people, that is reckoned as the lattice window of that state.

A simple lattice window that was used by Chandra Shumsher as a private residence in 1908 AD was purchased by the state for 20 million rupees later. The same window that was decorated drawing the attention of the world till 1950 functioned as a plinth to observe the worries of the people and the nation, upheavals and the different stages of the changes. Ironically, the window as a witness of different rigors, donning with a white crown compatible to white clothes looking at the world from Mechi to Mahakali through the mountains,  high hills  and to the plain land of tarai has been a mute spectator even suffering from a cataract in its own pupil.     

Initially in the lattice window there were 720 openings and on each of them the then Rana rulers had kept a lady to satisfy their sexual appetite. Cultural expert Gwang says, “They used to fight to each other and involved in amorous activities. But everything was behind the curtain. We are now in the age of science and technology.  In Loktantra despite trying hard to hide something, it comes to the public notice. No curtain or bars become effective.”

No matter how many eyes added to the lattice window, all these turned out to be suffering from cataract. The fire that broke out in Ashad of 2030 BS made its physique ugly to look on. The dark flame of fire dazzled its eyes. It was not that we have not heard out grandpa and grandma talking sitting under a tree that the arson was intended.    

Prior to the painful reference of the fire it had 1700 rooms in total. The library and the goods it had gutted down. The gigantic building that has been exploiting the national treasure on the pretext of renovation to make belly like a water vessel full, was badly shaken by the devastating earthquake of 2072 BS. When can we know the real intent of our leaders who sitting on the heart of this lattice window made by the same Ranas and the same Panchas (King’s men) made the eyes suffer from cataract dripping sap more sinister than that of twallo tree? Who make us know them? The bureaucrats also known as the permanent government entitled for the task have not only taken the spectacles but also extracted its pupil. How many times should we burn the tyre in the name of political changes to unclad in public to the shenanigans of these doorkeepers tending to make a habit of blaming to each other? How long should we pollute the environment? How long should we block the highway? 

Whoever remembers the scene captured into the lens of eyes pertaining to the real character of those making way to it after taking oath in the name of country and people, they get malaria fever. They get stranded hair into their body. They feel they have got tumor into their brain. The beat of the heart comes to a halt. Neither a dialogue nor a silence! Where am I? What am I doing? The pain experienced from forgetting oneself with self effacement is no less disastrous than the activities of a mental patient admitted in mental hospital. It is a shame to the leaders and the public servant; the so called permanent government who are busy distorting the beauty of the lattice window disfiguring it, plundering the nation time and again.

Those thirsty for development in Japan turned Hiroshima and Nagasaki consumed by atom bomb into verdant places. But, here, those thirsty for destruction, turned verdant places into desert. To make the never filling vessel of personal interest full they plunder to the extent as they could. With the intension of correcting this misrule folk singer Pashupati Sharma sang a moving song as ‘Lutna sake lut, aru deshma paidaina Nepalmai chha chhut’( If you can plunder, do it/ In other countries it is forbidden, it is allowed only in Nepal). However, they are playing with the blood and the toil of Nepali people unhindered.

Dubai has kept the environment in balance making it green even at the heat of 44 degree Celsius. Ours are destroying balanced and green environment and making it desert. Even they did not spare the beautiful plants and the saplings of fruits sprouted from the fauna’s excrement. From twigs and branches to leaves and roots whether taken or consumed. Hence, they deserve imprecation only.

It makes us feel even more disturbed when on the pretext of makeup showing the name ‘boutique’ those nourishing their followers making bill after bill. In Australia none are prevented to witness the ongoing activities of parliament and visit freely there but here in Nepal one must have a pass to make entry in it as though there is no carnival except in Handigaun. As said-Shame is not to doers but to onlookers, even for getting a pass, one must have recommendation. Their corrupt mind be reproached!

I recall in memory when one day I had said Lila Mani Paudel, the then chief secretary-
All of its frames needs to be demolished and free entrance should be ensured. Such technology should be installed so that even from the outside it becomes transparent. Such environment should be created so that none can plunder the state coffer in the name of anyone. I raised my high pitched voice time and again not to allow the bootlickers fix their telephone line for their vantage only for making connection with their kith and kin hanging on the line for hours in office. Today my voice is chocked. They did not even spare me scratching as I was observing all these minutely for four years. One of the ministers could not stop himself displaying his torn underwear while dancing financially naked dance. Feeling dejected and shameful, with a promise I’ll never make an entrance here till the minister remains in office, I patched the hole of his underwear with my resignation letter.     

How pleasure giving would it be if no such financial shenanigans were practiced here. Stung with questions as such, preventing the tears rolling over my cheek from the dubbing eyes one day I was immersed observing the same lattice window sitting at the roof top of my house. The ring in mobile phone broke my contemplation.  Picture of a well known secretary appeared on the screen of my mobile phone. Like an obstinate child the picture whined- “I might have brain drain, I never got the responsibility as per my experiences and preferences, know not why.” “Two years elapsed being transferred hither and thither after assuming the office as secretary. Now, I have only three years left. Please let’s make effort for my transfer.” He continued. I became thoughtful- how the journey of prosperity proceeds when the two third majorities Communist Government fails to assign the apt responsibility to its secretary based on the experiences and expertise.      

The palace of the lion (Singhadurbar) or the residence for lion. As the king of the woods is called lion (Singha), the rulers of the nation are allowed to rule offering Singhadurbar. I had read somewhere in history as per the tradition of competition in Ranas to prove oneself superior to others in their linage, one day, from the roof top, the youngest wife to Chandra Shumsher was observing the palaces including Bagdurbar and she named it Singhadurbar for the most beautiful and prestigious name.

During Malla, Lichchhavi and Rana period Hanumandhoka Palace was there to rule. Years back Narayanhiti Palace was built in British Style. Singhadurbar is still there. Nepal should be observed through the lattice window remained there. To our dismay, it is observed from the North, South and far way. It is observed from the perspectives of green dollars and foreign power centre.

Poverty, deficiency, privations, ignorance, hunger and innumerable extremities of the nation should have been observed through this lattice window but the pupils of the eyes themselves are taken out.

To be observed was good governance but what is observed and protected are corruption, crime and immorality. Through it is seen a mere factory of unfailing medicines that change black into white and vice-versa in the veil of politics.

As people enter into it they are like a needle and look like a gnat. But as they come out they appear as pestle and elephant.

The way the maker of Singhadurbar had initiated the tradition of punishing to those who carry an effort for the welfare of the nation and give suggestion that never harms the nation, regarding the interest of the nation is greater than the interests of the rulers, those reaching to one hundred and twenty five years old Singhadurbar have intensified the same practices these days. The specific visage of Chandra Shumsher has been multiplied as they keep on exporting the youth of the nation in the cheap labour market on foreign soil and fattening themselves squeezing the remittances they get. I like to spit on their faces with disgust. The influence of unemployed nova rich, who visit expensive hospital of foreign country for treatment as they defecate semi-solid stool, has been increased as never before. The day Eklavyas (mythical character, epitome of true disciple) declare- I deny paying unethical offerings to treacherous guru Dronacharya and I disagree to prove myself a loyal disciple, from the same day begins a new story of new Mahabharata.

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