Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sun re Siyaram! – Ode to the Kamlaris by Shrawan Mukarung

While the kamlaris were fighting for their rights on the streets of Kathmandu, Shrawan Mukarung’s ode dedicated to the kamlaris gained popularity in the mainstream media. Shrawan is famous for his creations, revealing the inequalities in the society and supporting the underdogs. His Bise Nagarchiko Bayan earned him laurels for his empathy towards the Dalits.

In his poem Sun re Siyaram, a kamlari sets off for a city leaving behind her love Siyaram. She says, “Listen Siyaram, I won’t wait for you now, I won’t return to the countryside again.”

“When I urged to follow me to the city, you wept and didn’t listen to me,” she says. “You never had an idea to elope together to a far-away place.”     

He describes the moment when the kamlari is boarding the cart. She complains that Siyaram didn’t pull her back when she gave her hand for the last time, because the peepal (a religious tree) in the village was dearer to him. In her anguish she tells him to plough the fields and fish alone, without her.

He describes her grief by using the metaphor “a well of tears” collected to show her true love. She is still happy in spite of being pregnant with her master’s baby. Here, the poet has illustrated how the kamlaris are sexually exploited by their masters.     

She is naive and innocent. “Now I will go to the police station, now I will appear in the court,” she says. “This is the city where government dwells, I’m confident I will win.” However, she doesn’t know the ways of the city and its treatment towards the unprivileged. 

She tells Siyaram to collect water snails and celebrate Maghi (the biggest festival of Tharus) all by himself. She repeats she won’t wait for him anymore; she won’t return to the countryside again.

If you know Nepali, you can savour the rhythm and melody of the poem in its original form. 

सुन रे सियाराम !
सुन रे सियाराम !
सुन रे सियाराम !!
अब म तँलाई पर्खन्न
अब म देहात फर्कन्न
सुन रे सियाराम !
सुन रे सियाराम !!
सँगै सहर जाउँ भन्दा
रोएर मान्दै मानिनस् ।
भगाई दूर देश लैजान
तैंले कहिल्यै जानिनस् । 
जब म चढेँ गाडामा
अन्तिम पल्ट दिएँ हात ।
तँलाई पिपल प्यारो भो
मलाई तान्दै तानिनस् ।

अब तँ एक्लै खेत खन्
अब तँ एक्लै माछा मार् । 
अब म तँलाई पर्खन्न
अब म देहात फर्कन्न ।

आँसुको इनार जमे नि
प्यार मेरो सच्चा छ ।
जीवन मेरो अच्छा छ
पेटमेँ मालिकको बच्चा छ ।
अब म जान्छु थानामा
अब म जान्छु अदालत ।
सरकार बस्ने सहर हो यो
मैल्यै जित्ने पक्का छ ।
अब तँ एक्लै घुँघी टिप्
अब तँ एक्लै माघी मान् ।
अब म तँलाई पर्खन्न
अब म देहात पर्खन्न ।
सुन रे सियाराम !
सुन रे सियाराम !!

(Poem courtesy: Nagarik and Setopati)

Watch the poet reciting the poem “Sun re Siyaram”.

No comments:

Post a Comment