Peeping Nawaraj Subba in the middle path

Devi Panthi

Bich Batoma Byujhera or awakening in the middle of road is the second collection of anthology of poems published in 2008 AD by Nawaraj Subba. His first collection was published in 2006 AD in the title of Jewan Mero Sabdakoshma i.e. Life in my dictionary. The second collection was public in Kathmandu among the eminent writers of Nepali literature. The each and every poems incorporated on the second collection have won the race of standard and quality comparing to the first collection. The poems are based on reality. The themes and feelings of depressed, exploited, mitigated and marginalized people are so nicely depicted as if someone splits a potful of water on the ground. The reality in subject matter leaves no one untouched and keeps deep meanings providing delicious taste of mixturism spraying the perfume through words and their meanings. By reading the beautiful poems of Nawaraj Subba, the readers forget themselves for a while and pretend that they are hanging around the poems of Bhupi Sherchan, Hari Bhakta Katuwal, Gokul Joshi, Modnath Prastrit and Agam Sing Giri. The collection is the photocopy of Nepal society, their moments, scarcity and self made history created by the revolt.

The readers can consume the poems of Nawaraj Subba from different angles but in totality his poems are humble or protest note for peace and agreement (Buddha). Though the poet lingers around hid past life and pin points the life of marginalized people, he leaves no stone unturned to expose the straw of love, sympathy, stricken and frightened life as well as the critical socio and political condition of the country. See references: Satarko Sambodhan i.e. Satar’s declaration, Majhi i.e. fisherman, Rauteko Mann i.e. Heart of Raute and Sukumbasi i.e. Landless or homeless people). He gives a big satire to those who is vain drop their tears (tear of crocodile) in favour of harassed and depressed people (Route) but do nothing in practice.

Let my forest with me
Let me wonder in my forest
Let me stay in our pain
In what way I survived
Let me survive and
Let me laugh and live
In my condition
(Heart of Raute- 109)

Bich Batoma Byujhera i.e. awakening in the middle of road is dedicated to those people who are pushed back to leave behind and are made compel to be away from their aims. The fact is confirmed by the selected poems in reflection – Serpent and the Road, The Thirst of Mother and Standing inside the wooden cage, these three poems are sentimental poems. The poet melts as candle remembering the love and affection of his mother. My Hill is the composition on past memory. It keeps the top position in the collection. The reference on Madhes movement has made the poem popular and common to all.

(When I migrated)
I thought
I left my native hill
Troubles and grief’s there
But (I was wrong)
They came with me
Sticking on my face and structure,
Couldn’t you see Lalbabu!
The hill on my face
And around eye-brow.
(My Hill- 28)

Another contesting poem is Wait Driver! wait. In this poem, the poet dares to recognize the flowing water of Tambar (a native river) in the huge flow of the Saptakoshi River. It is beyond imagination. No poet can recite such facuity of imagination. He dares to recognize the landslide of Nangkholayang and for a while he flies to play pebbles with his mates in Hangpang. There is excellent imagination. In his poem Hearth, the poet discourse with his mother. He compares between love and fire-lightning and says, ‘lightening firewood in hearth and convincing a lover for love needs equal intelligence.’ What a fantastic expression!

The poem Arun near Sati Stone is historical poem which indicates the system to devote life by a faithful wife on pyre. Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai commented on it as best poem carrying high level ancient myth which reminds Yogmaya, a lady who jumped into Arun River to challenge the unpractical system called Satipratha. Kamlari, a lady on bondage, is another poem which indicates a slavery system in western Nepal. His protest note is as follows-

I am poor Kamlari
Perhaps, I would die in poverty
At the time of departure
Please tell me my mum!
Who would tell me story?
On the bed at night.
(Kamlari- 91)

In Daily life in Morang, the poet depicts the picture of busy people in towns and cities. He proves that a creator can create even in busy life when there needs the feeling, sentiment and heart. He speaks about injustice. He finds justice nowhere and makes vow to leave it immediately then. In his poem New Nepal, he hopes that all the wishes and wills of the Nepali people will be fulfilled in new Republico-democratic Nepal. His poems Boss, The volume of 2063, The mask terror, lives are full of sentimental feelings where he recites the fearful condition of Nepal due to Madhesh movement and the people harassed by bandha.

I agree with Prof. Bal Krishna Pokhrel who commented the poet as nationalist. His poem The Sun is sufficient to prove the comment. The poet is aware of brain drain problem. In is poem The Newspaper, he pleads in favour of a lady demise in gulf.

Now days
There is no news in newspaper
About Sagarmatha climbing
Dilmaya demised in Arab
But there is no news

In ‘The Hum of Old Miss’ is similar to Parijat’s deception. Love and affair is natural instinct given by god, nobody should be deprived of love and to love is the right by nature. The poet is in favour of humanity as well as his creation is under the frame of mixturism. The poet is worried about revolt, revolution and destruction but at a time he says that revolution for drastic change and war is for destruction. In his poem ‘By measuring the length of my portrait’ he speaks about himself like the eminent poet Bhupi Sherchan. In ‘stage’ he is very much near to Shakespeare, Bal Krishna Sama and Krishna Bhushan Bala.

The poet has dedicated his collection to his demised younger brother Deepak Raj Subba. The preface is given by Dr. Govinda Raj Bhattarai and short bliss note is given by Prof. Bal Krishna Pokhrel. The preface measures the height of the collection in positive way. The collection was nominated for Madan Puraskar but against positive comments of Dr. Bhattarai, Pokhrel and Panthi; it couldn’t reach the goal. One of the poems of the collection ‘Standing inside the Wooden Cage’ is able to win Online prize “First Webcam Online World Poem Competition” competing with 103 poems from all over the world.

Like other many poets in Nepali literature, Nawaraj Subba’s poems are away from the shadow or copy of English or Hindi poems. Using original words and snapping new pictures in poems is the feature of Nawaraj Subba. Though he is unable to give equal weight to all the poems in collection his own-ness is his introduction. If he is able to keep himself away from unnecessary appreciation, I hope him to be a representative poet of Nepali literature.

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