We / Bhupi Sherchan


[Bhupi Sherchan's poem translated by Dr Tara Nath Sharma]


However much we raise ourselves up,
However much we run here and there,
However loud we may roar

However, we are merely drops of water,
Impotent drops of water
Which are drawn up by the sun
And become clouds,

We run here and there at the signal of the wind
And we feel ourselves full of motion,
And once we reach the heights
We forget our own land,
And with scorn towards our own land,
At the rivers, at the banks,
Like tame dogs looking through teh window
Barking at dogs in teh street
We bark
And feel out own dog's barking to be a roar
And one day, eventually, we fall to pieces
And we are once again transformed into drops of water
And as drops we spend our lives stagnating
In some gutter, well or lake
Keeping disgusting frogs which crock, crock,
Embracing snakes without venom.

However much we raise ourselves up,
However much we run here and there,
However loud we roar,
However, deep within, we are hollow.
Our roar carries no more weight than
the hiss of an ember thrown into water.


However high we may look from outside
Deep within we are being continually worn away
Our superficial height is false, it's a delusion

It has no more importance than the height of
A little mushroom growing on top of a hill,
There is nothing more special about it than
The height if the Indian acrobat tying two bamboos
t/o his legs as stilts
It is no more important than the height
Of a circus clown dancing with a high pointed hat,
We are pleased with our outward, height,
We are charmed, we are proud
But we, on the island of our own beliefs
Have forgotten
that we are constantly being ground down and worn away
Washed up on the little island of inferiority we
Have lost the memory of our own past
We have forgotton the common stature of man
We have forgotten the stature of the common man
Like the Gulliver described in the story,
Comes and lies down on the island of our beliefs
We look at him in disbelief
We feel disbelief at looking at him
We are astonished on seeing his height
And we are afraid seeing our own smallness
And that is why from our own feeling of inferiority
We attack him, with little weapons no bigger than heedles,
We climb over is limbs,
We jump, we bite, we pinch,
And, finally, exhausted we descend,
We are at peace, we accept our defeat,
Like the sea tide surging over o boulder
Descends and washes its feet,
We begin to worship that common man
thinking him great.
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However tall we might look from outside,
Deep within we are always ground down and wearing away
We are the men of Lilliput We are little men.

We cannot get along of our own accord
There must be someone to bring us together,
We cannot be divided of our own accord
there must be someone to separate us,
We are unable to go ahead of our own accord
There must be someone to drive us forward,
There must be someone to lead us along,
we are the old pieces for the table-top game of 'ricochet'
Splintered, broken, whose colors have worn away,
we are mere the materials for a good game,
We depend upon a player, havingt lost our own ability to move,
We require a 'striker',
Yes, we are less like human beings and more like pawns.


We are brave, but we are dumb
We are dumb, and that is why we are brave
We were never able to be brave withour being bumb
we are the Ekalabya described in the tale of the Mahabharata
Dronacharya, the teacher of every generation, hates us,
He excludes us from his gift of knowledge
He refuses to recognize our capacity,
Our power, and even our existence,
But, we make an image of this very Dronacharya
In front of our own hut,
We worship it, we bow down to it.


We endlessly practice the skill of archery,
And we become more skillful than his other noble disciples,
But, being wonderstruck and frightened of our abilitty,
In every generation Dronacharya coem to us
And we gladly,at his signal,
Cut off our thumb and offer it to him as a gift,
Destroying our own existence we hand it over to him
And we are ecstatic about our devotion to our teacher
About the strength of our own souls.
It is because of that we are brave
But, we are dumb
And that is why we are brave
we were never able to be brave without being dumb
We could never become brave without setting up an image of someone.


We are feet, just feet
and only feet.
Feet: the support on which the boky stands.
Feet: on which the body walks.
Feet: relying on which the dody runs.
Feet: Which think that they are kept
As a favor by the body.
Being kind to them, it takes them along with it.
Ecstatic over the greatness of the body
And always bears the whole burden to the boky,
they never raise their heads and look up
They always remain bent over
we are feet
We come in first in the race
And our forhead gets the 'tika'
We come in first in the race
And our chest receives the medal.
The forhead shich gets the 'tika' belongs to somebody else.
The neck which wears the garland belongs to somebody else.
The chest which receives the medal belongs to somebody else.
We are just feet which run, which wald, which stand
Merely at the direction of someone else.
Just feet and only feet.


We are nothing, and perhaps that 's why we are something !
We arenowhere and we are nothing,
And, perhaps, that is why we are somewhere and we are something
we are not living, but, perhaps,
Taht is the reason we are still alive.
Because of that come, oh worshippers of emptiness;
Let us worship this emptiness completely
Let us all, together practice prostrating to it
to this god of our existence.