Rasuwali Kabi

An illiterate mother tuned in to a pastoral song on the radio

The expert said there wasn’t any melody in it.

A Dalit youth lamented on Manusmriti,

The expert said that this brother couldn’t get to Manusmriti’s real essence.

A peasant taught how to sow millet

The expert said the peasant was orthodox.

The moviegoer coming out of the theater said the movie was good

The expert said a common man wouldn’t know to decipher cinematic metaphor.

A metered verse poet composed a poem on his sorrows

The expert said he let the verses too loose.


The expert thinks

I’m the one running this world

I’m its very designer

I say

The workers make this world beautiful

The workers make even the era epochal


I have a small neighborhood of working people

We are dirty

We are smelly from sweat

Please, expert folks

Don’t bother coming to our place.


Translated from the Nepali by Roshan Koirala.