Humanity in Search of Itself

Written: ca. 1998;
Translated: from the Nepali by Mary Des Chene;
Transcribed: for marxists.org August, 2002.


When in the night

even the great eyes of the sun

        take their rest

        in some western cave

yet your mournful bangle melody

        sounds on

        in some kitchen midden

teary sobs whistle in your throat

Who left you

        bound by bangles

to cry in this world?

who left you


to live in this world?

When at dawn

        weariness laid to rest

the great eyes of the sun

        slide open

your mournful song of bangles

        sounds on still

        at well and tap

weary hands move once again


        to work and tasks

From the form of mother

        to the malform of whore

like some rush mat spread on the floor

        you're ever busy

for men! for the rule of men! for a man's world!

Who left you in this world

        bedecked in finery

        for the sake of men?

who left you in this world

        summoned by love's tangle

        to be looted?

As you came into this world

        so came men

but as it would mold men brave and strong

it would mold you fearful and weak

father teaches little brother


while mother teaches you


after all this cruel instruction

you turn half human

        half caged mynah

so too a man turns

        half human

        half hunting falcon

When your eyes begin to seek

        distant horizons

men's Koran

        sinks poison fangs into your eyes

when your steps begin to take

        the measure of borders

men's Gita

        cuts the feet from under you

when you seek to push open

        the door to inner wisdom

men's Bible

        spreads dark smoke through your soul

when possibilities

        are at an end

your body remains

        fitted only for sex

Body's light of consciousness half-snuffed

        you cannot fully know a man

        nor a man fully know you

like a vulture swooping

        upon a responseless corpse

men's union with you

becomes but an endless series

        of tragic rapes

oh! thus this loving nature

        disfigured in a moment

Your child-like smile

could lend even rubble strewn banks

        the vitality to be a poet

When you're walking

        in the bloom of youth

sun sparkling on sea

raging river

blooming flower and heart rending moon

the beauty of all these things

        looks plainer than plain

When carrying

        an infant in your womb

awash in the light of your labour

        working in factory or field

at that moment

all nature is captured

        in your beauty

From mother's womb

to last moment on the pyre

        you're as vast as the sky

        profound as a bounty-laden tree

        energetic as the earth

        militant as the wind and


        as a drop of dew

as beautiful

        as the eyes of a babe

But this world

        this world described by men

wrings out the beauty of your entire kind

imprisons it in a few faces and declares

        'The Beauty'

All round the world

        wherever the sun's rays reach

disfiguring itself

        this man's world

weighs your entire militancy

        on the scale of sex

Oh! you're traded like dirt

and in this trade

the human world descends

        to that of beasts


        into quagmire

Men's eyes call for embraces

You summon men

        with full devotion

just as the banks dam the river

        in their embrace

Turbulent river and rubble strewn bank!

How different, you and men!

Your lover woos you


        I'll give you shelter

        in the depths of my eyes

From house to nation

        stories of abandoning all

        for your sake

this world's eternal tale

A ring in the ear,

gold necklace at the throat

ankle bracelet...

Men ever ready

to give you these

and all other luxuries

But in return

your whole existence

your place among militant humanity

you must lay down

        at the feet of men!

Just as the source of life

        lurks in the scent of the soil

in the actions of your body

        hidden lays

        the continuance of humankind

But of your menstruation

        your birthing power

        your endurance

        your modesty

men make out weakness

        a subject for ridicule

Though men demand sexiness of you

        yet they declare you sexpot

From distant past till today

you've cried

        along with all working ones' eyes

you've been looted

        along with all working hands

you've fought

        along with all working people

yet even today

in every battle defeat

        you lose more

in every battle victory

        you gain less

Every age

        like the kisses of a deceitful lover

        upon your breast


Even today

        men make you queen

        declare you ladylove

        a civilized gentleman

        considers you helpmate

yet for age upon age

you've been in search

of a single male friend

        friend! friend! friend!

This world's become

        so sorry, so tragic

in this age

        even the male lover of equality

        compelled to oppress you some!

In this civilized world

        still you are raped

        still stripped naked

        still sold like potato and turnip

        still beaten like a beast

        still humiliated like a dog

oh! even love leaves a void within

In this world

        where you give birth

        to the whole human race

in this same world

        you must know death

        every moment

in this world

        whose whole being

        you love

in this same world

        within an embrace

        you must know


When there's naught at your back

        but tears of exilewhen there's naught before your eyes

        but fenced-off lands

when this class society

        insults your very birth

when this class society

        gives you no gift

        but a grave

when this class society

        bans becoming a person

then what's to fear? who's to prevent?

why hesitate? what's to attract?

To give new life to yourself

        come, sacrifice in the fire

        of this class war!

in search of one

        lost since the ages

in search of a friend

        deceived since the ages

        friend! friend! friend!

who you want to find!

who a working man wants to find.



* Glass bangles worn by women are a Hindu symbol of marriage.