Every time I meet him he greets me with a smile,
A khaki trouser and a rod in hand count on his style.
The age has shown more on the face than on his lean body.
The Square face and the tiny eyes, we all call him ‘Nepali’.
He was born in a teeming slum of Kalimpong.
Every night he sings out one same old Nepali song.
His guitar has some broken chords which matches with his voice
and some magic there will make you listen without any choice.
He sings from his heart and we think from our head,
And thus have failed every time in our efforts to translate.
His father used to play the guitar, love was the only sake.
His name is still marked on the wrecked guitar’s neck.
He was just a novice teen when his father died,
And probably the only time he claims that he had openly cried.
He had to leave his studies and started singing in a local bar;
But the girl he loved was always worried about their future.
Thinking about making money he once made up his mind,
Boarded a train to the city to see what he could find.
He is now a gatekeeper of this reputed society.
Perhaps earns some money more than a hillside bar singer.
Every month he gives away half his money to some charity.
As he had got no one on the hills to send his earnings for.
His lady love had married some hill based businessman.
Every time we speak about this, he tries to laugh out loud.
The filthy city had gifted him this, the best what it can;
A pensive laugh on the face and an effort to lie profound.
He does not talk much of hills anymore, he talks of only fear,
And sings that old song at the night with less grief and more anger.